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World Famous Landmarks to Go Green for St Patrick’s Day 2013

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In a major coup for Irish tourism, an ancient wonder of the world – the Pyramids of Giza – and a modern wonder of the world – the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil – are set to go green for the first time ever on St Patrick’s Day 2013, joining a host of other major landmarks and iconic sites including the Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, in Tourism Ireland’s annual ‘global greening’ initiative.

Tourism Ireland has unveiled details of some of the famous attractions and sites around the world which will go green to mark St Patrick’s Day, kicking off the organisation’s major first half promotional drive to grow overseas tourism in 2013.

 In the UAE, one of Dubai’s most famous landmarks, Burj Al Arab, is set to go green again in 2013. The Jumeirah-owned luxury hotel will have its greening lights switched on by a local Irish-Emirati family as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013. The Gathering initiative is a celebration of all things Irish, and encourages all those with Irish roots or just a love of Ireland to make a trip to Ireland during 2013.

Newcomers going green for the first time include the famous ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, HMS Belfast in London, City Hall in Houston, Texas, the Citadel in Jordan and the International School in Bonn.

Other ‘old favourites’ which have gone green in previous years on 17 March include the Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, Table Mountain in South Africa, the Empire State Building in New York, Burg Theater (City Hall) in Vienna, the Sky Tower in New Zealand and the TV tower in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said, “Tourism Ireland is absolutely delighted that so many well-known sites and attractions are eager to come on board with us and join in our celebration of Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, with some famous additions like the Pyramids of Giza, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas and the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen – and there are a few others that we’ll be keeping up our sleeves until closer to the day. The eagerness to take part underlines the strength of the deep spiritual connection that people everywhere feel to Ireland – a major boost in this special year of The Gathering Ireland. Over 70 million people around the world claim links with the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.”

In Great Britain major sites including HMS Belfast in London will ‘go green’ on St Patrick's Day; other buildings set to change colour include Manchester Town Hall and the Clyde Auditorium, affectionately known as ‘the Armadillo’, in Glasgow. Online travel agencies are also getting in on the act – the homepage of in GB will be ‘greened’ on 17 March; and The Gathering Ireland will be highlighted on specially ‘greened’ taxis for the month of March in London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester. And Tourism Ireland, together with the Greater London Authority, will promote The Gathering and holidays to Ireland at this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Trafalgar Square, in London.

In North America, the world-famous ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas and City Hall in Houston, Texas, will go green for the first time ever – joining other major landmarks like Niagara Falls (on both the Canadian and the US sides), the Empire State Building in New York, the Chicago and San Antonio Rivers, the famous White House fountains, as well as San Francisco’s Coit Tower, City Hall and Ferry Building Marketplace. There will also be a host of promotions taking place around St Patrick’s Day and throughout the spring in the US, including sponsoring live coverage of the New York St Patrick’s Day parade on NBC, with film clips on Ireland.

In Europe the famous Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is set to go green on 17 March. This is in addition to other well- known sites which will take on a green hue, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the Fernsehturn (television tower) in Berlin, Odeonsplatz in central Munich and the ‘Lighthouse’ in Düsseldorf – grabbing the attention of potential visitors in those cities.

In Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue will go green for the first time on St Patrick’s Day. And, in a major coup for Irish tourism, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx in Egypt will also go green. South Africa’s Table Mountain – a World Heritage Site and one of Cape Town’s most iconic landmarks and visitor attractions. ‘Down under’, the Sydney Opera House and Auckland’s Sky Tower are also planning to go green again, in honour of St Patrick’s Day 2013.

This year, St Patrick’s Day will take place on 17 March.

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