Erin Go Bride! Ireland’s Gay-Marriage Tourism Ads

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,, 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

A Free Presbyterian Minister has branded a new campaign to 2015-05-26_new_9857872_I1market the Irish Republic as the go-to destination for same-sex weddings as crass.

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?

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