With tourists from all over the world flocking to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Ireland is looking to increase tourism from English travelers who are looking to get away from the hype.
Tourism Ireland has launched a new campaign to try to bring English locals to Ireland to escape the Olympics. They're calling the campaign "Escape the Madness." The tourist company created a two minute video which has gone viral as it encourages Londoners to take a trip across the pond during the Olympics Games.
London is expecting over half a million spectators to come to the country for the Olympic Games, which means the city is about the get a whole lot busier and more crowded and the commute for locals will get tougher.
"If they want to escape somewhere...we'll gladly take them over here, that's the angle," said Mark Henry, director of marketing at Tourism Ireland to Reuters.
The video features the voice of "Bridesmaids" star Chris O'Dowd and shows two Londoners in a race to see if one can make it to Ireland for a pint of Guinness before a commuter makes it to his job in London City Central. The video has gone viral and has been viewed over 100,000 times since it was posted to YouTube on Tuesday. The video also reached more than 370,000 people on Twitter and 436,000 on Facebook.
As tourism numbers are down and the country is full of debt, Ireland is finding a creative way to bank on the Olympics. The campaign is also part of a bigger plan to revive interest in the country from the UK tourist market after many in England chose to take staycations after the recession.
"The British travelling public continues to shrink so it's difficult to grow the business environment. The general economics is depressing peoples' intent to travel and the willingness to spend money and that is our barrier to growing the business this year," said Henry.
The Olympic Games are being held in London for the third time in history. The opening ceremony kicks off on July 27 and the Games will continue to August 12.