The screen tourism boom sparked by pop-culture phenomena like Derry Girls, Star Wars and Game of Thrones, has significantly boosted Derry’s tourism sector.
Odhran Dunne, Visit Derry manager, told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on Wednesday that the Lisa McGee-penned sit-com, in particular, had driven footfall to the city.
He said Derry’s proximity to Malin Head where ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ was shot had also boosted the local hospitality sector.
He said: “You talk about Game of Thrones, there’s Star Wars as well. It’s really about the consumers and what they’re interested in. If you’re interested in screen tourism you’ve those options, but also now obviously you’ve got the Derry Girls, which has been a great success story for ourselves.”
Mr. Dunne said screen tourism needed to be central to strategic planning and production firms might be persuaded to shoot outside the high tourist season to provide a filip to the sector during slow periods.
“I think that would be something that would be worth touching on in terms of the strategy and how we can use screen tourism to support the seasonality of tourism.
“I think they could have influence that could support the demand for accommodation and services off-season and maybe we could influence that with Screen NI and with partners because those production schedules are really impressive once you come out and about to NI to the various screen locations,” he maintained.