Iconic buildings around the world lit in green for St Patrick's Day

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By Michelle Devane, Press Association

Hundreds of iconic buildings across the world are going green to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

More than 470 landmarks in 56 countries, ranging from museums and towers to statues and stadiums, are being illuminated in green to coincide with the Irish national day.

World famous sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Sydney Opera House are among those taking part in Tourism Ireland's Global Greening campaign.

The aim of the initiative, which is in its 10th year, is to encourage people to visit Ireland. It celebrates the island of Ireland and St Patrick's Day.



The campaign costs about 48,000 euro to conduct, but it is worth about 10 million euro to the Irish economy, according to the tourism marketing body.

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said: "This is the tenth year of Tourism Ireland's Global Greening initiative and it's bigger and better than ever this year, with some wonderful new additions like the Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world."



In addition to the Burj Khalifa, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, York's medieval city walls and Lord's Cricket Pavilion in London will also turn a shade of green for the first time this year, as will the Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA stadium in Japan where Ireland will play Japan in the Rugby World Cup in September.

Mr Gibbons said: "St Patrick's Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message that the island of Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage.

"Our St Patrick's programme spans Great Britain, mainland Europe, North America, Australia and emerging tourism markets like China, Brazil and the Middle East.

"We are using every opportunity to capitalise on the island of Ireland's heightened profile this weekend; the saturation coverage about Ireland across the global airwaves, in newspapers and digital media, is an invaluable boost for our overall 2019 tourism promotional drive."



A statue called 'Mac the Moose' in the city of Moose Jaw in Canada, a leopard statue in Kenya and a green bicycle parade through Amsterdam are some of the more unusual additions this year.

They join the London Eye, the Empire State Building in New York, Chicago's John Hancock Center, Disneyland Paris, the Colosseum and the Las Vegas 'Welcome' sign, which have been turning green for a number of years to mark the March 17 celebrations.

The Global Greening initiative first took place in 2010 when Irish diplomats convinced Sydney Opera House to go green.

Last year, more than 10 million overseas visitors made a trip to Ireland.


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