Ireland launches social game

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Tourism Ireland claims to be the first national tourism board in the world to launch a social networking game.

It taps into the huge popularity of games like FarmVille and CityVille – 24% of all people on the internet in the US and GB play social games at least once a week. Ireland Town will sit on Tourism Ireland's Facebook pages. Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland's central marketing director, said: " This is a new platform for Tourism Ireland to engage potential holidaymakers around the world with the kind of experience that a holiday in Ireland offers them. It is a unique promotional tool and a first, as no other national tourist board had done this before. For those fans who may be planning to visit in 2011, this is certainly a different way to research their holiday. " How to get involvedIn Ireland Town, Facebook fans are invited to create their own idyllictown in Ireland, with the help of 'tour guide' Sally. They can then explore iconic sites and visitor attractions around the island, completing various challenges in order to progress to the next level of the game; these challenges reflect the huge variety of things to see and do on a holiday in Ireland. There are 32 destinations and nine different tasks to be completed during each challenge. Free competition Fans can progress faster through the game if they sign up their Facebook friends to also join in. For the fans who make it through all of the tasks, there is the chance to win a 'real world' prize of a holiday to Ireland. Facebook fansWith the incredible viral effect of social games, it is expected that upto 100, 000 Facebook fans will sign up to play Ireland Town over the coming weeks. Henry continued: " Given that Tourism Ireland currently has a fanbase of a quarter of a million people around the globe, and each of the fans has in turn an average of 130 friends, Tourism Ireland can potentially engage with 32. 5m people worldwide through our new Ireland Town game. " For more information on Ireland, visit: http://www. discoverirelandmedia. com

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