LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN INVITES BORIS JOHNSON TO SETTLE DIFFERENCES OVER PINT IN DUBLIN PUB
13 March 2012
The Lord Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been invited to show the world how much he loves the Irish by accepting an invitation from the Lord Mayor of Dublin to have a pint in a Dublin pub.
“I would be delighted to meet Mayor Boris Johnson in Dublin and show him the friendliness of Dubliners,” says Councillor Andrew Montague. “I’m sure he would be delighted with the warm welcome that Londoners and English visitors receive here in Dublin.”
Like all visitors, Mayor Johnson is entitled to claim his free pint when he gets to Dublin, as part of a civic initiative to promote Irish hospitality. When the City of a Thousand Welcomes service launched last summer, organizers hoped to arrange 1,000 meetings in the first 12 months. That target has been reached three months early.
Visitors can sign up for a free drink with a friendly local in one of three great Dublin institutions: the Merrion Hotel, the Porterhouse or Bewley’s Café. “Dublin is the only place in the world where the locals are literally lining up to take the English out for a free drink,” says the founder of the project, Trevor White. “I hope Boris Johnson accepts this very gracious invitation from our own Lord Mayor.”
City of a Thousand Welcomes has been widely acclaimed. When the Sydney Morning Herald published a list of the ten best free things to do in Europe, “the Rolls-Royce of greeter programmes” was number one on the list, ahead of the Louvre in Paris and London’s Crown Jewels.
A non-profit civic initiative, City of a Thousand Welcomes is run by the Little Museum of Dublin. The sponsors of the service are Dublin City Council, Dublin Regional Authority and Fáilte Ireland.
To download hi-res images for use in media coverage of City of a Thousand Welcomes, click here.
Some of our volunteers helped us make TV ads explaining why they signed up to be volunteers. To view the ads, click here.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Is this service really free?
Yes. Completely free for tourists and Dubliners. The cost of hosting their meeting is borne by our sponsors and hospitality partners.
How do people sign up to become Dublin Ambassadors?
From today, members of the public can sign up at cityofathousandwelcomes.com, by taking a short Dublin-themed quiz and completing a questionnaire.
Can people from outside Dublin sign up?
Yes. However, we do require that Ambassadors have a good working knowledge of the city and its attractions – our research suggests that insider knowledge is a key appeal of the service for tourists.
When can tourists avail of the service?
City of a Thousand Welcomes will be launched to tourists and the international market on Bloomsday, June 16.
Who pays for the service?
City of a Thousand Welcomes is a non-profit civic initiative started by Dubliners. The cost of running the service is borne by our three sponsors and hospitality partners.
Is it safe? How do tourists know that they won’t be welcomed by a lunatic?
All Ambassadors are subject to Garda vetting in line with insurance requirements.
Is this service modeled on something you’ve seen overseas?
No. The service is similar to ventures such as couchsurfing.com in that it depends on the goodwill of users to operate successfully, but it is completely original.
Why are you launching this service now?
Trevor White explains: “City of a Thousand Welcomes is a non-profit venture. It won’t cost the earth to implement, and if it takes off, the tourist industry will have a powerful new pitch (‘Come to a city where the locals are literally queuing up to welcome visitors’). We’re celebrating Dublin as a place where tourists receive a warm welcome, and where culture extends to good conversation. We are doing this for the benefit of visitors, of course, but also to re-invigorate Irish hospitality and encourage civic pride at a time when Irish identity has taken a bit of a bashing.”
What are your long-term plans?
We would like to prove that the model works. Then we want to export it internationally, where it would forever be known as ‘that Irish thing,’ thus cementing our reputation for friendliness and good hospitality.