Campaign to promote Ireland as same-sex wedding destination

Tourism Ireland aim to capture part of ‘new and emerging’ LGBT wedding tourism market

Crowds react in the court yard at Dublin Castle on Saturay. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Crowds react in the court yard at Dublin Castle on Saturay. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Less than 24 hours after Ireland voted to introduce same-sex marriage Tourism Ireland launched a new campaign to promote the country as a wedding and honeymoon destination for same-sex couples.

The “Ireland says I do” initiative aims to encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourists to visit Ireland and to corner a larger slice of what chief executive Niall Gibbons described as a “new and emerging” tourism market.

The annual international travel spend by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourists was estimated to have been worth in excess of $200 billion US dollars in 2014 with European LGBT travellers spending an estimated $66 billion.

Tourism Ireland will promote the campaign in nine markets including Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Germany.

Mr Gibbons said the initiative had been developed over the past year in anticipation of a possible Yes vote in Friday’s referendum.

“We just struck while the iron was hot. But what none of us saw coming was the scale of the outpouring of positivity. Ireland has been in the headlines for all the right reasons in all our key markets over the past few days.

“And not just in traditional media outlets such as the Guardian but also on social media with everyone from Miley Cyrus to Stephen Fry, personalities with a huge following, plugging Ireland”.

Mr Gibbons said the campaign would include the continued promotion of The Outing, an offshoot of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival in Co Clare, which is marketed as the world’s first-ever LGBT matchmaking festival.