Wednesday 25 April 2018

Tourism Ireland launches first ever tourism campaign in space (well, technically)

The Fáilte Awakens

Planet Earth’s first interstellar tourism campaign has taken off – highlighting a destination that is truly “out of this world”.
Planet Earth’s first interstellar tourism campaign has taken off – highlighting a destination that is truly “out of this world”.
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

With Star Wars: The Last Jedi set to hit cinemas on December 15, Tourism Ireland has launched the first ever interstellar tourism campaign.

Well, technically.

The ad is actually a billboard launched into space using a weather balloon, reaching a peak altitude of 33,390 metres – where a photo and short film were captured.

The short film highlights 'Earth’s Wild Atlantic Way' with an image of Skellig Michael, otherwise known as Luke Skywalker’s Star Wars hideout, Planet Ahch-to.

Ireland is gearing up for a marketing blitz with the Skelligs, the Dingle Peninsula, Donegal's Malin Head and Cork's Brow Head all potentially appearing in the blockbuster movie.

Disney Lucasfilm carried out location shoots at all locations, though it is still unknown which - or which combination - will make the final cut.

Skellig Michael, seen in an aerial photograph this winter. The island, with a monastic settlement dating from 588AD, is a major location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Skellig Michael, seen in an aerial photograph this winter. The island, with a monastic settlement dating from 588AD, is a major location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Skellig Michael's six beehive huts seen from the air - the island became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Skellig Michael is home to thousands of Atlantic puffins, at least from March to September. These colourful, enigmatic seabirds spend their summers on the island, breeding and fattening their chicks on locally available food which often comprises of high calorie sand-eel and sprat. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan
The monastic Island of Skellig Michael was founded in 588 by Saint Fionán - for 600 years the island was a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. It's a main location for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan
Skellig Michael, home to one of Europe's better known but least accessible monasteries. The word 'Scellic' means a steep rock. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Skellig Michael's monastic huts - for 600 years the island was a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Located 12 kilometres off the coast County Kerry’s Inveragh Peninsula, Skellig Michael is the most spectacular of all the early medieval island monastic sites. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Ceann Sibéal or Sybil's Head, on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. It features as a location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Ceann Sibéal or Sybil's Head, on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the location is used to replicate the monastic Island of Skellig Michael. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan
An aerial shot of Skellig Michael, which has six beehive huts situated almost at the summit of the 230-metre-high rock. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Skellig Michael first became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits cinemas on December 15. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
View from Skellig Ring, Iveragh Peninsula, Wild Atlantic Way. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan
Ceann Sibéal or Sybil's Head, on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Telling a few ‘Porgies’…Local Guide Muiris Walsh of Iveragh Historical Tours dresses as ‘Chewbacca’ in the newly named ‘Porgmagee’ (Portmagee) Co Kerry, where Film Stars and crew departed for Skellig Michael, the Location of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Spectacular: Skellig Island, taken from the air. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Skellig Michael features prominently in the trailer for The Last Jedi, however, so it seems a safe bet that it will get a good show in a galaxy far, far away.

Tourism Ireland will share the 'space' ads with its four million Facebook fans, 451,000 Twitter followers and 20,000 international media contacts, it says.

It signals the beginning of a €500,000 Star Wars campaign that the marketing organisation will run through to mid-January 2018.

“Our space tourism publicity stunt is a bit of fun, designed to create some excitement as Star Wars fans everywhere get ready for the release of The Last Jedi,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.

“The fact that another Star Wars film was shot on location along the Wild Atlantic Way is truly a fantastic coup for Irish tourism. It presents Tourism Ireland with a superb opportunity to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland in 2018.”

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