Written by Tom Deehan on Dec 3, 2015. Posted in General Interest

Star Wars Episode VII expected to boost film tourism in Ireland

After filming on location at Skellig Michael in Ireland, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to cause a surge in tourism to the area upon its December 17th release. The production filmed at Skellig Michael in July 2014, off the coast of County Kerry with cast members including Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley.

Skellig Michael is one of the very few ‘real world’ locations to feature in the movie.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh film in the long running science fiction series will begin a new trilogy expected to last until 2019, the first in the series to be released since the Star Wars property was acquired by Disney. The film is directed by J. J. Abrams and will feature returning cast members from the original Star Wars trilogy, including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher.

Tourism Ireland have explained: “Star Wars Episode VII is possibly the most anticipated film of all time, with pre-opening ticket sales beating all previous records... Skellig Michael is one of the very few ‘real world’ locations to feature in the movie – providing Tourism Ireland with a truly unique opportunity to promote the Skelligs and the broader Wild Atlantic Way.”

They continue: “Tourism Ireland has worked with Lucasfilm (the producer) to capture the film on location on Skellig Michael and will launch a dedicated Star Wars campaign in early January.”

Despite initial concerns that such large scale filming would cause serious damage to the area, a report issued October 19th 2015 noted that only two minor incidents occurred but that the environment was left unharmed.

As part of Ireland’s Section 481 ruling the country now offers a lucrative tax relief of up to 32% for projects with an eligible spend, with a per project cap of EUR50 million. In recent years HBO’s Game of Thrones has driven a great deal of tourism to Ireland after filming in multiple locations throughout the country, leading Discover Northern Ireland to construct a map of said locations for tourists to visit.


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