Tourism Ireland claims it is the first DMO in the world to have created a social game for Facebook, aimed not only at fans of the Emerald Isle but also tapping into the obvious enthusiasm for the Farmville and Cityville products on the ubiquitous social network.
The game, known as IrelandTown, lets players create their own idyllic Irish town, loading it with shops, pubs, farms and other cliched features.
With a virtual tour guide to help, users can then explore different attractions around the country and compete in various challenges to obtain more items to put in their town.
Like other Facebook games, sharing with other friends gives a user more points or items to play with. There are 32 destinations and nine tasks to complete at each point.
Tourism Ireland currently has around 250,000 fans across its various country-based Facebook pages – the game will sit on ten such pages including the UK, US, Germany, France and Canada.
Other Facebook users will be encouraged to join the game through advertising units placed elsewhere on the social network, as well as the usual seeding of friendly bloggers and other social media channels.
Meanwhile, here is a clip of a “flashmob” organised by Tourism Ireland in Sydney, Australia, on St Patrick’s Day (200,000 views and counting):