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Minister Donohoe & Tourism Ireland unveil ‘behind-the-scenes’ film; Phase 2 of Star Wars campaign

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Monday) welcomed the launch of Tourism Ireland’s phase two of its special Star Wars campaign, targeting fans of the science fiction franchise around the world. It involves a specially-commissioned ‘behind-the-scenes’ film, created during filming in 2014 on Skellig Michael.

Tourism Ireland commissioned Lucasfilm – the company which produced Star Wars: The Force Awakens – to create the short film, in which Star Wars director JJ Abrams and other crew members discuss why they chose this special location for filming. Tourism Ireland will share the film in 14 different markets – including Britain, the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the Nordic region, Australia, New Zealand, India, the GCC and South Africa. It will be shared via social media – including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – targeting Tourism Ireland’s digital audience of 600+ million around the world.

To view the film, click here.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens film has been setting records everywhere – with a $120 million dollar opening day release and fantastic reviews. Skellig Michael looks spectacular in the film and its appearance has already generated extensive, positive headlines and stories in media outlets right around the world – such as the New Zealand Herald, the Boston Globe, CNBC, the Toronto Sun and Radio Times. Tourism Ireland plans to capitalise on this positive exposure, highlighting the Star Wars connection with Ireland over the coming weeks and months.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been the most anticipated and publicity generating movie for years. The fact that Skellig Michael features in all its glory brings the dramatic scenery of Co Kerry and the broader Wild Atlantic Way to an audience of potentially hundreds of millions of people. By the end of November 2015, we had surpassed our best ever year on record for the number of overseas visitors. We are determined to build on that, recognising the role tourism has to play in strengthening our economic recovery. Tourism Ireland’s Phase 2 of its Star Wars campaign will further promote Ireland’s tourism offering, encouraging even more people to travel to Ireland in 2016 and beyond’.

TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on travellers everywhere, with up to 35% of people being impacted in their choice of destination by what they see on screen.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been breaking box office records around the world, bringing the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael and the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people everywhere. I would like to thank the Irish Film Board and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for their help in maximising this truly unique opportunity for Ireland. Tourism Ireland is taking every opportunity to capitalise on the publicity around the film, to help whet peoples’ appetites to come and visit’.

Phase one of Tourism Ireland’s Star Wars campaign was unveiled last month, around the film’s global release. It involved:
- a specially created page on Tourism Ireland’s international website,, which has attracted about 16.5 million visitors this year;
- extensive social activity, with posts on Facebook (Tourism Ireland has 3.33 million fans worldwide) and Twitter (317,000+ followers); and
- a major PR and publicity push to Tourism Ireland’s 20,000+ international media contacts.

Tourism Ireland liaises closely with the Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen, to attract and facilitate film-making in Ireland; Tourism Ireland’s work in this area also involves maximising the promotional opportunities of popular films and TV programmes filmed on location here.