• Cyril McAree

Top International Media Feel The Force On Visit To Star Wars Film Locations in Kerry

A group of over 25 of the world’s leading entertainment and lifestyle media were hosted by Fáilte Ireland and brought in the footsteps of Luke Skywalker to see for themselves how the force was awakened as they visited the Star Wars film locations in Kerry. The trip was arranged in conjunction with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/ Lucasfilm Ltd™ and Tourism Ireland and timed for the week that Star Wars actor Mark Hamill took part in the St Patrick’s Festival as International Guest of Honour.

The group of high profile media from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, have a combined reach of over 28 million. The TV and print journalists write for some of the world’s leading newspapers and included staff from the Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Entertainment Tonight online, Dish Nation/FOX affiliates. In addition, representatives from MTV.com and LadBible.com two of the UK’s largest online entertainment companies with 12 million viewers got to explore our Galaxy and Skellig Michael, where Star Wars was filmed.

Speaking about the visit and the opportunity presented by these visiting journalists to Kerry, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said – “The Wild Atlantic Way is fortunately not in a galaxy far, far, away but right on our doorstep. Having an iconic Irish location such as Skellig Michael featuring so prominently in a high profile movie is certainly benefiting Irish tourism. This visit from high profile overseas journalists will encourage more people from all around the World to explore and enjoy the epic landscapes of Kerry and our Atlantic coast.”

Trish Long, Vice President and General Manager of Disney Ireland said: “We could not be happier with the STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI global press trip. The combination of visits to the stunning and unique Irish shooting locations and the hospitality combined to provide a truly special experience, which I know was truly appreciated. Our thanks to our partners Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland for their professional planning and partnership. I believe as well as amplifying the in home release of the movie, the visit will also help create greater global awareness of Ireland’s powerful beauty.”

Liam Campbell, International Publicity manager with Fáilte Ireland, commented: “For many people, a compelling film or memorable movie forms an emotional ‘pull factor’ and can create a curiosity about a destination that may not have previously existed. A film like Star Wars, The Last Jedi, with its incredibly loyal and committed fan-base, will raise the profile of the Wild Atlantic Way even further and these journalists will help encourage many more visitors to come here and discover one of our most beautiful natural assets – our wild rugged Atlantic coast.”

During their visit the journalists had a guided tour of Kerry with Vagabond Tours stopping off to film at the Skelligs Experience and Visitor Centre on Valentia Island and afterwards took a boat trip around Skellig Michael with its stunning views of the Islands before meeting locals Gerard Kennedy, The Moorings, who has become a Star Wars expert together with Mike O’Shea, who was a key crew member on the film and showed the group around Coumneenole Beach and the walk up to Dun Mor Head. The group also took in Dingle and the stunning Slea Head Drive stopping off to see the Fanah Beehive huts en route to get to see what these structures look like and meet local architect Isobel Bennet.



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