From our Late to the Wedding Party desk
No flies on Ireland’s tourism officials. It took them all of three days after Irish voters approved a referendum legalizing gay marriage to launch a global ad campaign – “Ireland says I do” – targeting the LGBT community for weddings and honeymoons.
From MediaPost’s Marketing Daily:
“[The campaign] includes advertising on Facebook directing people to a specially created section on Tourism Ireland’s website, Ireland.com, which is highlighting great wedding venues and ‘dreamily romantic locations to tie the knot,’ as well as cool bars and clubs,” according to a news release.
“It also features a brand new video showcasing our spectacular scenery and The Outing, the world’s first-ever LGBT matchmaking festival, an offshoot of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival which takes place in October.”
Here’s the spot:
The campaign is targeted at nine regions: Britain, the U.S, Canada, the Nordic region, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. The social media component features personalities like Miley Cyrus and Stephen Fry plugging Ireland.
(Just for scale: According to MediaPost, LGBT tourism was estimated to have been worth over $200 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, with European LGBT travelers spending an estimated $66 billion.)
And it’s not just Tourism Ireland that’s jumping on the wedding-bandwagon. According to Travel Weekly, “The 800-year-old luxury hotel Ashford Castle in County Mayo has introduced gay wedding and honeymoon packages starting in summer 2015. Pricing for a wedding at the castle, with a minimum of 75 bedrooms or 160 guests per night, starts at $63,050.”
Of course, not everyone loves Ireland’s LGBT lovefest, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.
Pastor’s fury at taxpayer-funded tourism drive over gay marriage
Rev David McIlveen said that there was no justification for the use of taxpayers’ money to find the Tourism Ireland initiative, launched days after a referendum was passed giving the green light to gay marriage in the Republic.
Rev McIlveen added this: “Many people will feel very aggrieved that money from Northern Ireland is being spent on this type of campaign and I believe there is no justification whatever for this investment.”
Right – only the south of Ireland voted to legalize gay marriage. So subtract one from that céad míle fáilte, eh?