Tourism NI Chronicles Northern Ireland’s Links to Game of Thrones Series

Tourism NI has launched a new publication celebrating Northern Ireland’s links to the Game of Thrones television series.

From fantasy lands to fire-breathing dragons, Game of Thrones has ignited a tourism frenzy which has injected millions of pounds into Northern Ireland’s economy.

Game of Thrones has contributed significantly to tourism in Northern Ireland in recent years, injecting around £251million (€297m) into its economy. In 2018 alone, it helped attract one in every six out-of-state visitors to Northern Ireland which amounts to approximately 350,000 people and a spend of over £50million.

The Making of a Screen Tourism Destination chronicles how Game of Thrones has helped to transform tourism in the area and how Northern Ireland landscape gave life to the make-believe continent of Westeros.

Tourism NI Launches ‘The Making of a Screen Tourism Destination

Tourism NI Director of Business Support and Events, Áine Kearney said that Game of Thrones has had a remarkable impact on the area.

“For ten years, HBO and Game of Thrones made Northern Ireland their home and we are very proud of that. Northern Ireland’s people, atmospheric heritage and stunning locations became part of the show’s soul.

“Today, visitors from around the world can travel across Northern Ireland’s beautiful and inspiring landscape and have the opportunity to see exactly why Northern Ireland was chosen as the breathtaking setting for Game of Thrones.”

Recognising the fan’s appetite for the series and all things connected, Tourism NI has worked closely with HBO, Tourism Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen to engage with the fans.

“It is fantastic to see Northern Ireland Screen, the lead agency for our film and TV production sector, work so closely the tourism agencies to continue to celebrate the amazing impact the show has had on the tourism sector in Northern Ireland. HBO also played an integral role in helping Northern Ireland capitalise on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become Game of Thrones Territory,” Kearney continued.

Cushendun Caves, County Antrim

Bespoke interpretive panels, a filming locations app as well as a collection of visitor guides showcasing the spectacular filming locations have been created. In addition, the ten intricately crafted Doors of Thrones, the now famous Game of Thrones Tapestry and the six beautiful stained glass window installations, Glass of Thrones, were developed.

Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s Central Marketing Director, said: “As overseas tourism restarts, Tourism Ireland will continue to highlight Northern Ireland around the world, reminding people that Northern Ireland is ‘Game of Thrones Territory’.”

The journey is set to continue for years to come with the highly awaited new Game of Thrones Studio Tour at Linen Mill Studios, Banbridge. This will be the first permanent licensed Game of Thrones experience in the world.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said: “For many years fans from near and far have sought out and enjoyed visiting the many public locations featured in the show. It’s now really exciting that Linen Mill Studios is soon to become open to the public as a Game of Thrones visitor experience.”

Ava Farrelly
Ava Farrelly is a travel journalist for travel2ireland, ITTN and TravelTimes. With a background in arts, culture and lifestyle, Ava has a keen eye for the most visit-worthy destinations and all their attractions.

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