In a major coup for Irish tourism, an ancient wonder of the world – the Pyramids of Giza – went green for the first time ever, joining a host of other landmarks and iconic sites around the world for Tourism Ireland’s annual ‘global greening’ initiative to celebrate the St Patrick’s Day weekend.
Almost 70 landmark buildings and iconic sites around the world went green this weekend. One addition to the ever-growing list was Anfield stadium – home to Liverpool FC. In fact, Anfield was just one of three football stadiums that went green for our national day. The others were the landmark Allianz Arena in Munich, home ground to FC Bayern Munich (which is normally white, red or blue!) and the Friends Arena in Stockholm, venue of the upcoming World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Sweden.
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we’re delighted to be continuing our ’greening’ initiative for the fourth year, with lots of new additions like the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and now Anfield Stadium in Liverpool. Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world, while also showcasing our wonderful tourism offering to a huge global audience. Our message is that there has never been a better time to ‘Jump In’ and plan a visit to Ireland.”
Score for Tourism!
On St Patrick’s Day – five days before the World Cup qualifier between Sweden and Ireland on 22nd March – Stockholm’s Friends Arena went green. The stadium, which played host on the afternoon of 17th March to Sweden’s bandy final, was lit green in the presence of thousands of spectators. Bandy is an extremely popular winter sport, played on ice (a Swedish version of hurling!). Irish music and film footage was played in the stadium and spectators were encouraged to take part in an Ireland promotion on their mobile phones.
In addition, an estimated 500,000 Swedes tuned into the game on TV and were exposed to the Ireland message. The Friends Arena will remain green every night until 22nd March, when Sweden takes on the Republic of Ireland in the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup; with plenty of exposure and ‘hype’ about Ireland through the media in Sweden, the match is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination, as well as a top location for sporting events – and to encourage Swedish football fans to make the trip to Ireland this September for the return game in Dublin.
Tourism Ireland is undertaking a busy promotional programme, to capitalise on the tourism potential the game offers, which includes targeting football fans through a competition in partnership with the Swedish FA, as well as online advertising on websites popular with soccer fans. Tourism Ireland has also invited influential Swedish travel trade and media to attend the game in Stockholm.
Tourism Ireland’s ‘global greening’ initiative saw major landmarks and iconic sites around the world go green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. These sites included the Sydney Opera House, the London Eye, Selfridges in London, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burj al Arab in Dubai and the Prince’s Palace of Monaco.