The return of crews to Magilligan for filming of the global television sensation ‘Game of Thrones’ heralds “a wonderful future for tourism in the area”.
That’s according to local SDLP Councillor Gerry Mullan.
Speaking after crews spent time in the area, on Binevenagh Mountain and Ballycarton Forest, Colr. Mullan said the publicity and marketing value from Game of Thrones is “priceless”.
“The return to Magilligan by ‘Game of Thrones’ film crew for the second time, as well as filming for the ‘Dracula Untold’ movie at the Roe Valley Country Park just over a year ago, could well mean that the ‘Roe Valley’ is set to become a ‘mecca’ for any discerning film producer.
“Clearly, Magilligan with its idyllic natural beauty provides a perfect backdrop for films of this kind and we should expect to see even more interest by film companies in the future.”
Colr. Mullan, a member of the new Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, went on to say: “Council spends thousands of pounds each year promoting tourism because they understand the benefit that it brings to the local economy. They could never hope, however, to match the positive impact that the making of a film such as ‘Game of Thrones’ can have and, more importantly, at no cost to the ratepayer.”
In agreement is local businessman Harry Canning, who runs the Spar shop. He said ‘Games of Thrones’ has given the area a boost.
“There have been a lot of visitors wondering where all the action was happening, and some of the workers came into the shop. It’s been good for business. It certainly doesn’t do you any harm. I just wish they were here more often””
Colr. Mullan said examples from other parts of the world show where an area is chosen as a location, the “gains to the local economy have proven to be enormous”.
“We only have to think of how Westport has benefited over the years from the film ‘The Field’, or how Cong still reaps the benefits 60 years after the filming of ‘The Quiet Man’.
“I have no doubt that, over time, coach loads of tourists will be coming to Magilligan to see where ‘Game of Thrones’ was made and because of that investment in tourism in the area will grow.”