Star Wars is set to contribute to what Tourism Ireland is hoping will be a record breaking 2016 for visitors to Ireland following on from this year when tourist figures were the highest ever seen. It is hoped that the much hyped and anticipated Star Wars Episode VII will provide a massive boost to the Skelligs and the broader Wild Atlantic Way similar to what Game of Thrones did for Northern Ireland. Skellig Michael was one of only a few “real life” locations used to film The Force Awakens, and although the numbers that can visit the UNESCO world heritage site are limited it is hoped a targeted ad campaign can capitalise on the global attention it will bring to the Irish landscape. Tourism Ireland has worked with Lucasfilm (the producer) to capture the film on location on Skellig Michael and will launch a dedicated Star Wars campaign in early January .

 Tourism Ireland is not just relying on The Force to attract people here next year however, it is just one part of a multi-faceted approach. A major TV ad campaign  featuring the Wild Atlantic Way will reach 28 million potential tourists in France and Germany, the 2500km tourism trail has been a major success since its inception  and our newest tourism experience that will be unveiled in 2016 “Ireland’s Ancient East” is expected to also be very beneficial and has the potential to deliver 600,000 extra tourists by 2020, an advertising campaign  will launch in 23 markets around the globe in January promoting it as a touring region. Add in the fact that its the centenary of the Easter Rising and new airline routes into the country the future is looking bright even if the weather forecast isn’t. Tourism Ireland has been doing a great job promoting the country in recent years, but promoting what Ireland has to offer is not exactly a hard job now is it .

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Source – Tourism Ireland press release .