Star Power: Tourism Ireland to unveil €110,000 Star Wars campaign
The Force Awakens
Tourism Ireland is to launch a new Star Wars-themed marketing campaign, Independent.ie Travel can reveal.
The campaign, which has a budget of €110,000, aims to capitalise on the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which features Skellig Michael.
Targeting fans of the franchise, it will focus on social media and include a specially created page on Ireland.com, Facebook posts and a major overseas media push.
The campaign will "maximise the connection with Ireland" in 14 different markets, including Britain, the US, Canada, Australia and several European countries, and will be followed with a second phase in early 2016.
“A hugely popular name like Star Wars filming here will bring the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael and the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people around the world," said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.
The campaign goes live tomorrow, but Independent.ie is able to bring exclusive previews in our galleries above and below.
Up to 35pc of tourists are impacted in their choice of destination by what they see on screen, according to Tourism Ireland - which has also developed extensive campaigns around the filming of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland.
"It’s a really effective way to reach mass audiences, helping to significantly boost awareness of the Skelligs, the South West and Ireland in general... whetting peoples’ appetites to come and visit," Gibbons added.
Tourism Ireland has 3.33 million Facebook fans, 317,000 Twitter followers and Ireland.com has received over 16.5 million visits this year, it said.
"The new Star Wars film is widely expected to be one of the most viewed films in history," said Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe TD.
"Having Ireland's magnificent scenery featuring in the film provides a tremendous boost for us and I know that Tourism Ireland will fully maximise the opportunities the film presents," he said.
2015 has been a record year for Irish tourism, with some 7.9 million visitors and a spend of €4.2 billion expected by the end of the year.
"Skellig Michael looks epic on film," writes Chris Wasser in Independent.ie's first review of The Force Awakens (no spoilers), although it remains to be seen how the Unesco world heritage site copes with any extra visitors.
UPDATE: Campaign now live at ireland.com/starwars.
Read more:Top 10: Star Wars movie locations you can visit here on earth Skellig Michael set for 'blaze of silver-screen glory' - New York Times