Moulin Rouge, Paris

Visit our special St. Patrick's Day section

One of Paris's most iconic attractions - the Moulin Rouge - is set to become the 'Moulin Vert', as it goes green later this week to mark St Patrick's Day.

As part of its 2011 promotional drive in France, Tourism Ireland has arranged the 'greening' of the Moulin Rouge to bring a smile to the face of Parisians and shine a spotlight on the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination.

Tourism Ireland's spring marketing campaign kicks off this week in France, just in time for St Patrick's Day, and up to 14 million potential French holidaymakers will see new Ireland TV ads on prime time channels.

Also this week, Tourism Ireland is joining forces this week with Bord Bia to showcase 'culinary Ireland' in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, through a new online game called 'St Patrick's Cooking Challenge', targeting a younger audience of up to 70,000 players in France alone. And, food will also add a 'flavour of Ireland' to Tourism Ireland's St Patrick's Day promotions in Paris, with Irish cooking demonstrations at MAP (Monde à Paris), one of France's biggest travel shows; and with attractive, liveried 'demo' bikes touring La Défense (the major commercial district of Paris) promoting Irish food and holidays.

Tourism Ireland is confident that the French market will return to growth this year. Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: "Recently published visitor figures for the final quarter of 2010 showed a welcome return to growth from France (+25%) and this is an encouraging basis on which Tourism Ireland will build in 2011. The introduction of new Aer Lingus flights for 2011 - from Paris to Shannon, Rennes to Cork and Perpignan to Dublin - is also good news and a welcome endorsement of the market's potential.

"The island of Ireland holds strong appeal for the French, who rank Ireland fourth on the list of places they would like to visit. We need to show them 'stand-out' things to see and do when they come here. Our promotions this year are highlighting compelling reasons to visit and the good value available here. We are conveying messages of friendliness, fun and humour as well as stunning landscapes and music."

Visit our special St. Patrick's Day section