Once again this year people all across the world donned green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
More than that, some of the most famous and recognisable places, buildings and monuments across the world were illuminated in green as part of a new and imaginative initiative designed to promote tourism.
The unprecedented campaign of greening the globe will certainly encourage many people to consider visiting Ireland.
While the colour green will forever be associated with Ireland by millions across the world, other colours too can influence tourists in their decision on whether to visit these shores.
Images of red, white and blue, recently most associated with protests and disorder, will no doubt have led many would-be visitors to reconsider their plans to visit Ireland, or a certain part of the island.
The ambitions of those involved in tourism promotion cannot be faulted. We should be telling our story to the world and encouraging tourists to come to every part of the Ireland.
It is up to political, civic, and community leaders to ensure that the positive image that is being presented around the world is the one which greets tourists when they do arrive.
Once again Derry has shown itself to be ahead of the curve in this regard.
The successful St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival parade, inclusive of all sections of the community in the north west is an example of what can be achieved when tradition and heritage is celebrated in a neutral yet all encompassing way.