Successes of Northern Ireland's Screen Tourism
The ongoing development of Northern Ireland as a world-class global film-making hub, with the opening of the £20 million Belfast Harbour Studios underlies the country’s potential to continue to attract major international productions beyond Game of Thrones®. With the first production being Superman prequel series Krypton.
Over the past 10 years Northern Ireland Screen has developed the screen industries and secured many productions including Game of Thrones®, Dracula Untold, The Fall, In the Line of Duty, Robot Overlords, Miss Julie, ITV’s Frankenstein Chronicles and BAFTA awarded and Oscar nominated Boogaloo and Graham and Oscar winner The Shore. Most recent productions include BBC drama Paula, Disney’s The Lodge, My Mother and Other Strangers, The Truth Commissioner, Morgan, Lost City of Z, High Rise, and The Secret.
These productions have helped to showcase the beauty and natural landscape Northern Ireland has to offer to a worldwide audience and has created opportunities for the tourism industry to develop exciting and engaging tourism experiences built around the locations used for filming.
The Screen Tourism Phenomenon
• There is a proven relationship between screen content and tourism, and countries that can attract the production of high quality film and television can also see a related growth in tourism.
• Film and television drama can be significant motivators for travel, serving to powerfully showcase the unique landscapes, culture, people and stories offered by a destination.
• Such exposure may result in immediate, specific travel from tourists seeking to explore locations and other sites, or it may have latent benefits – helping contribute to a tourist decision to visit in the future.
• Screen tourism effects can be long-lasting and highly valuable, depending on the profile and success of the underlying content. The most impactful evidence occurs from extended exposure of a destination in a film franchise or long-running television series such as Harry Potter and The Lord of The Rings. Game of Thrones® has clearly offered extended exposure for Northern Ireland in this way.
The Screen Tourism Market in Northern Ireland
While Northern Ireland has hosted a number of major international film and television productions, Game of Thrones® – a global phenomenon and HBO’s most-watched show on record – has been transformative for the country as a screen tourism destination. Northern Ireland provides the studio base for the show, which makes extensive use of Northern Ireland locations.
Visitor surveys identify the show as the dominant motivator for screen tourists – though other projects can be seen to have an effect, including The Fall, Dracula Untold and Philomena. Awareness of Northern Ireland as a filming location is high and the country is attracting a significant volume of inward screen tourists who would not have travelled to Northern Ireland without its screen links.
Tourism Ireland is Tourism Northern Ireland’s marketing partner, promoting the island of Ireland in the international markets.
Northern Ireland Screen
Tourism Northern Ireland work closely with Northern Ireland Screen, the agency responsible for the screen industry in Northern Ireland.