SDLP East Derry MLA Gerry Mullan has welcomed plans to promote the new ‘Game of Thrones’ season he believes will positively impact on the local tourism industry.
Crews have been regulars to the Roe Valley area in recent years, filming for the hit fantasy series at locations including Binevenagh Mountain and Ballycarton Forest.
The assemblyman had asked economy minister Simon Hamilton to detail how his Department is promoting filming locations used in Game of Thrones as tourist attractions. Mr Mullan said the publicity and marketing value from Game of Thrones is “priceless”.
“East Derry has played a big part and has provided a number of filming locations for the series, including the Dothraki sea at Binevenagh Mountain and the Dorne and the Reach at Portstewart strand. These iconic locations, and others across the North Coast, are quickly becoming regular tourist attractions for the many fans of the show visiting the North.
“It’s now important that after the final season finishes, there is a longer term plan to promote the series to ensure the maximum number of tourists are visiting East Derry and continue to boost local businesses.”
The minister said Building on Tourism Ireland’s unique partnership with producers HBO, a third Game of Thrones campaign, aimed at capitalising on the global success of the hit TV series and highlighting its connections with Northern Ireland, was rolled out in April.
The campaign includes a series of 10 intricately carved doors depicting moments inspired by the season (made from the wood of fallen trees at the Dark Hedges) which have been revealed in locations across Northern Ireland as the series unfolds each week, including at Frank Owens bar in Limavady.
The minister added: “The campaign is directing fans to a special section on Tourism Ireland’s international website, Ireland.com, which showcases Northern Ireland locations for the show including the Dark Hedges near Armoy, Tollymore Forest Park, Castle Ward, Pollnagollum Cave in Fermanagh, Ballintoy Harbour and Downhill Beach and Mussenden Temple.
The series locations are also highlighted on Tourism NI’s website, discovernorthernireland.com