The Game of Thrones® Effect
As the show’s principal filming location for ten years, Northern Ireland earned a once-in-a-lifetime tourism opportunity. The spectacular landscapes that formed the perfect backdrop for the fantasy world of the show now attract tens of thousands of Game of Thrones® fans from across the globe.
There is a proven link between screen content and tourism. Countries that attract highquality film and television productions can benefit from a related growth in tourism. Harry Potter in the UK and The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand are great examples of this.
In a competitive global market, screen tourism helps the destination stand out. It highlights what makes it unique and gives it a competitive edge. It can also help transform perceptions, letting tourists see the destination through a powerful new lens.
The effects can be long-lasting and highly valuable, particularly with a successful film franchise or long-running hit TV series. Game of Thrones® clearly offered this type of extended exposure for Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland hosted many film and television productions, but it was Game of Thrones® that turned us into a leading screen tourism destination. It brought many more visitors and fans to explore our stunning landscapes and coastlines than any other production.
The economic benefits of screen tourism are undisputed. In 2018, the show played a part in attracting one in every six out-of-state visitors. That accounted for 350,000 visitors and over £50 million for the local economy.
The tourism opportunities grew alongside the viewing figures as each season passed. Very quickly, Game of Thrones® became Northern Ireland screen tourism’s most valuable asset.
Screen Tourism Insights
Source: NI Visitor Attitude Survey 2018