Game of Thrones keeps driving tourism in Northern Ireland and Iceland

Although it films all over the world, Game of Thrones does much of its shooting in Northern Ireland, at Titantic Studios in Belfast and at several scenic areas elsewhere in the country. The local tourism authorities have taken advantage of this. Of late, they’re drawn fans to Northern Ireland through the Journey of Doors campaign, which encourages visitors to travel around the country to visit a number of elaborately carved doors modeled after different episodes from Game of Thrones season 6, and to check out the filming locations nearby.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Tourism Ireland has entered into a new licensing agreement with HBO that will pay off during the airing of season 7, so the country’s GoT-related tourism efforts are by no means over. “We are able to capitalise on a huge audience,” said Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons. “Game Of Thrones is the hottest ticket in town in relation to Northern Ireland just now.”
Gibbons wouldn’t reveal the nature of his organization’s season 7 marketing push, but it’s probably going to be good. Recall that, before the Journey of Doors campaign, Tourism Ireland mounted a series of Game of Thrones-themed stunts around the country, including one that involved a bunch of White Walkers freezing a public fountain:
This week, Gibbons is hosting a delegation of travel agents from China, and will be taking them to several Game of Thrones filming locations. It’s a good time to be in the GoT tourism business.
Meanwhile, NBC News reports that Game of Thrones has been part of what’s driving a massive increase in tourists to Iceland — the number of visitors there has grown from 500,000 in 2010, the year before Game of Thrones came on the air, to an expected 2.4 million this year. (The eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 helped, too.) Game of Thrones hasn’t spent as much time in Iceland as in Northern Ireland (predictably, Iceland has mostly been used for scenes beyond the Wall), but even a passing association with the show is enough to nab visitors.
You’ll be able to see more of both Northern Ireland and Iceland when season 7 debuts on July 16.


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