TOURISM IRELAND HAS launched a video it hopes will lead to Star Wars fans visiting Skellig Michael.
The island off the coast of Kerry has received a lot of attention after a scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot there last year. It will also feature in the next film in the series.
The new video shows director JJ Abrams and other crew members discussing why they chose Skellig Michael as a location.
Martin Joy, the film’s supervising location manager, said they needed to film in a place “from another time and place”.
We were just blown away by (Skellig Michael), it’s an extraordinary place. It certainly fed into our Star Wars universe.
Tommy Harper, executive producer, added: “I remember when we all flew in, it was special and we knew it.”
Tourism Ireland plans to share the video in 14 markets: Britain, the United States, Canada, Germany France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the Nordic region, Australia, New Zealand, India, the Gulf Cooperation Council and South Africa.
Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe said: “The fact that Skellig Michael features in all its glory brings the dramatic scenery of Co Kerry and the broader Wild Atlantic Way to an audience of potentially hundreds of millions of people.
By the end of November 2015, we had surpassed our best ever year on record for the number of overseas visitors. We are determined to build on that.
The total annual earnings of the Irish tourism industry exceeded €7 billion for the first time last year.
There was some controversy surrounding filming on the island, which is a Unesco world heritage site.
The Office of Public Works and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have been keen to emphasise that no substantial damage was caused to the island.
Following the filming, some routine maintenance work was carried out by on-site staff.