Tourism Ireland is set to target more than eight million Londoners this month promoting Ireland as a hassle-free holiday from the Olympic games.

The 'Escape The Madness' ad campaign from Tourism Ireland will target Londoners by presenting the island of Ireland as the ideal 'escape' destination during this busy time. This represents the first phase of a €0.5m campaign to promote Irish tourism during the Olympics.

Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring explained “While the Olympics will be a very exciting time in London, the event will inevitably draw huge crowds. Commuting and day-to-day life will become that bit more hectic for Londoners. Around 18 million extra journeys will be taken on the London underground between the opening ceremony on July 27th and the closing ceremony on September 9th.

“The Government, and Tourism Ireland, are using this opportunity to present the island of Ireland as the ideal escape destination during this busy time.”

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said “This summer's Olympic Games present a unique opportunity to showcase the island of Ireland. With a global audience of about 4 billion, this is the largest sporting event in the world and Tourism Ireland intends to maximise the tourism potential for Ireland of the games. The proximity of the games in London provides Tourism Ireland with a wonderful opportunity to showcase Ireland as a top holiday and business destination.”

Ads will run on the London underground, highlighting the open spaces and lack of congestion in Ireland. Over 200 large ads will appear at different tube stations across the city, targeting frustrated commuters during morning and evening rush hours.