Montecatini, the Tuscan town where Giovanni Trapattoni and Ireland's Euro 2012 squad are preparing for next month's finals in Poland, has turned green this week.
A quirky ‘green windows’ promotion, sponsored by Tourism Ireland, is running this week in the local newspaper, Il Tirreno – encouraging all the shops and businesses in Montecatini to adopt an Irish look. Using a variety of material supplied by Tourism Ireland, the businesses are dressing their windows and shop-fronts, competing to win the prize for the best green windows in town! And over beside the squad’s training ground, at the ‘Casa d’Irlanda’ centre for media and the general public, Tourism Ireland is busy handing out brochures and information about holidays in Ireland. The organisation is also distributing travel information from a kiosk in the centre of Montecatini.
With millions of people around Europe and the rest of the world set to tune into Euro 2012, Tourism Ireland is aiming to capitalise on the tourism potential of the tournament – particularly in Italy and Spain, two important markets for Irish tourism and two of our opponents in Group C.
The organisation is highlighting the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination, as well as a top location for sporting events.
Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar said: “This is a really good, entertaining way to promote Irish tourism as part of Euro 2012. Our team and our fans always generate tremendous goodwill when they travel, and it’s wonderful to see this being reciprocated by the town of Montecatini. It’s important to use every opportunity to encourage people to visit Ireland, and this is a great example.”