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03 Jan 2018

Ireland uses the Force to grow tourism as Star Wars campaign gets interstellar launch

Tourism Ireland has taken its Star Wars visitor campaign to a whole new level, by launching its latest project in space.

Hoping to draw extra-terrestrial eyes and possibly those a little closer to home, the interstellar campaign was launched via a weather balloon into space to celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in December.

The billboard features an image of Unesco World Heritage site Skellig Michael, with the ad promoting “Earth’s Wild Atlantic Way”, 33,390m (109,500ft) above sea level.



The island, which in The Last Jedi plays the location for Luke Skywalker’s remote hideout, lies off the coast of Ireland near Kerry and up until the 13th century was home to a small group of monks living in small stone “beehive” huts.

Because of its heritage designation, Skellig Michael is strictly protected under Unesco guidelines, with visits on a permit system originally capped at 11,100 annually.

Since the release of the first Star Wars film in the new trilogy, this figure has increased, rising to 14,000 in 2016 and 16,775 in 2017.

Visits are weather-contingent and run between May and October.

For more on Ieland’s Wild Atlantic Way campaign, see the latest issue of Leisure Management magazine, available here.




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