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The Kimye effect has Irish eyes smiling

The Kimye effect has Irish eyes smiling
7 Oct 2014

What do Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Game of Thrones have in common? While that is a question many never thought they would be asked, there is, in fact, a joining link between them, and it is one that the Emerald Isle is surely thankful for.

The number of tourists from Great Britain who have visited Ireland this year has risen by 11.3%, with a further 178,200 visitors on the previous year. Interestingly, the Hollywood commodities are partly responsible for this boost.

Sky Atlantic’s fantastically successful show, Game of Thrones, which has a legion of fans worldwide, is filmed largely in Northern Ireland, in particular, Castle Ward in County Down, which fans will recognise as ‘Winterfell’.

Speaking of the increase, tourism minister, Paschal Donohoe, said: “When I was in the US recently, I noticed that there were a huge number of Irish companies advertising Game of Thrones tours to US tour operators – there is no doubt that it has helped.”

While Game of Thrones has helped increase tourism in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland has seen its popularity rise thanks to one of the most famous couples on this planet, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, who, following their wedding in Florence, headed over to Ireland to celebrate their honeymoon.

Most popularly known as ‘Kimye’, the couple spent their honeymoon loved up in  private properties around County Limerick and County Laois. During their stay in Ireland, the Hollywood couple were regularly papped going to local cinemas and pubs, perhaps making the most of the warm Irish hospitality with a pint of Guinness or two, and a hot toddy. They were also rumoured to have spent a day cycling in the picturesque Ballyhoura Mountains.

“It had a natural indirect effect – people looked at Kim and Kanye coming to Ireland and it made them think – ‘if it’s good enough for them, there must be something worth exploring,” Donohoe said.

Obviously, with the most famous couple in the world comes a side order of press, and there is little doubt that the increase in journalists writing about the Kimye honeymoon also helped to show just how great the beautiful country is and why it is well worth a visit.

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