Less than 24 hours after the gay marriage referendum Tourism Ireland initiated a new campaign promoting Ireland as a gay wedding destination. Is this a cynical marketing ploy or a clever way of attracting money into the country?
Pink money describes the purchasing power of the gay community, based on the fact that a gay couple is perceived as being a DINKY (double income no kids). Pink money has gone from being a fringe or marginalized market to a thriving industry in many parts of the western world. Many businesses, particularly in The United States now specifically cater to gay customers, with shops, restaurants, and even taxis. Worldwide in 1998, pink money was valued at $560 billion across a variety of sectors.
Tourism in the Republic of Ireland is one of the biggest contributors to the economy with over 7.3 million people visiting the country in 2014, about 1.6 times Ireland’s population. Each year about €5bn in revenue is made from economic activities directly related to tourists, accounting for about 4% of the G.N.P. and employing over 200,000 people.
So you could say it is a well-planned campaign to attract tourism from a wealthy niche market. Ireland has come a long way considering homosexuality was only completely decriminalized in 1993. The campaign, ‘Ireland Says I Do’, will run in nine different markets, including the USA, the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and the Nordic countries. The video promotes ‘The Outing’ which is the LGBT offshoot of the Lisdoonvara matchmaking festival. Well let’s hope it’s as great Craic as the traditional Lisdoonvara. Watch and see what you make of it.
Well Dev must be rolling in his grave, not quite the comely maidens he envisaged. But maybe we are at a crossroads, Ireland redefining itself after the hangover caused by the Celtic Tiger. So, here’s to a New Ireland where gangs of tourists arrive to get married covering us all in glitter and confetti; sure what harm could it do?