Game of Thrones spends £110m in Northern Ireland and boosts film tourism
As HBO’s fantasy drama Game of Thrones secures 24 Emmy nominations, Northern Ireland Screen has revealed the show has spent around GBP 110 million locally since 2010. Production is based at Titanic Studios in Belfast and has boosted film tourism to the region.
The drama has spent around GBP 22 million in Northern Ireland each year for the past five years. Northern Ireland Screen assisted the production with an investment of GBP 1.6 million for its most recent season, the BBC reports.
Game of Thrones now plays a huge role in how Northern Ireland markets itself internationally.
“We've had people from North and South America, all over Asia - China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan - and all across Europe,” said Damian Carr from Game of Thrones Tours, in comments to the BBC: “We started off running one tour a week; now we're running five.”
Northern Ireland Screen wants to follow the example of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, which helped transform New Zealand’s screen tourism industry. When Hobbiton was rebuilt for the Hobbit movies nearly a decade after Lord of the Rings, it was designed as a permanent structure specifically to help boost film tourism on a long-term basis.
Last summer Titanic Studios secured permission to expand its filming facilities in a move that would see the studios become among the largest of their kind in Europe.
Game of Thrones also films in Iceland and Dubrovnik. In the most recent season producers added Spain to the roster of international locations, and they are set to return for the next series as well.
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