A Derry Councillor has said that attracting Game of Thrones stars to events in Derry and the north west “could put us on the map”.
SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly was speaking following a presentation by local tourism organisation Visit Derry.
Staff from Derry revealed that the city looks set for another record year in terms of visitor numbers, and revealed a rise in the number of tour operators from North America coming to the north west region.
Over the course of its seven seasons to date, parts of HBO’s Game of Thrones - believed to be the most popular TV show in the world - have been filmed in County Derry, and much of the show is filmed at locations across Northern Ireland.
Some of the stars also have local connections. Young actor Art Parkinson (Rickon Stark) comes from Inishowen, while Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) is from County Derry.
Visit Derry, during their presentation before Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Business & Culture Committee on Tuesday, said that popular local attractions included the Game of Thrones Tours, which departed from the Tourist information Office in Derry’s city centre.
Also alluding to the fact that part of the new Star Wars film ‘The Last Jedi’ was filmed across the border at Malin Head in County Donegal, Colr. Reilly said that capitalising on the fact that both Game of Thrones and Star Wars was filmed in the region was vital, given their huge international fanbase.
“We are perfectly placed to go and see both of these sets where they are filmed,” he said, adding:
“The likes of Game of Thrones stars have gone to events in Belfast and could put us on the map.”