The Kim Kardashian and Kanye West wedding circus in May touched down in Ireland for the honeymoon segment, and apparently their sojourn in Limerick and Laois helped to boost tourism numbers to Ireland – this from no less a source than Irish Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe.
“It had a natural indirect effect,” Donohoe told the Daily Mail of the Kimye effect on tourism.
“People looked at Kim and Kanye coming to Ireland and it made them think, if it’s good enough for them, there must be something worth exploring. It also encouraged journalists to want to write about Ireland who might not have done so before.”
Kim reportedly pitched a fit when she was in Ireland because of the lousy weather, bad cell phone service, not enough shopping … blah blah blah. Kimye hiked and went to the movies, and the reality TV star denied that she had a bad time, or that she and her hubby left an unpaid bill at Castle Oliver in Limerick.
Donohue says that the end of year forecast for tourism figures looks good, with a likely eight percent increase over last year’s number of visitors to Ireland. The mega-popular HBO show "Game of Thrones" can also take some credit for the uptick. The series is filmed throughout Northern Ireland, and several tour operators offer Dublin to Belfast packages to see where filming takes place.
“When I was in the U.S. recently, I noticed that there were a huge number of Irish companies advertising 'Game of Thrones' tours to U.S. tour operators. There is no doubt that it has helped,” the minister told the website TTG Digital.