The North West is benefiting from a £148m Game of Thrones boom thanks to the biggest TV show in the world’s decision to film at Downhill and Binevenagh.
That’s according to the Economy Minister Simon Hamilton who said the shooting locations, alongside Portstewart, were among 22 publicly accessible Game of Thrones locations, which have been viewed by an overall global audience of 18.4million people in 199 different countries.
“Twenty-two of these locations are publicly accessible, three of which are located in the North West region including Binevenagh, Downhill Beach and Portstewart Strand,” said Mr Hamilton.
“The show has been the catalyst for business growth in Northern Ireland and has provided an opportunity for the tourism industry to develop new and innovative visitor experiences,” he said.
Mr Hamilton said that back in 2013 there were no Game of Thrones visitor experiences available for tourists but the TV phenomenon has since ballooned here.
“In 2013 Game of Thrones visitor experiences were not available now there are over twenty-four.
“These experiences range from guided coach tours, immersive experiences, food experiences and self-guided maps/itineraries.
“Many of the visitors explore the locations independently taking in the locations within the North West region.
“Individual businesses report that they receive visitors from all over the world and that the demand is generally sustained throughout the year.
“Some of the more established operators have also reported that their Game of Thrones business has doubled in the past year which has allowed them to make further investments in developing their Game of Thrones offer,” he said.