The effect of films and TV series on tourism is being proven yet again, as TripAdvisor names the world’s top 10 “Game of Thrones” tours, leading into the series’ season 7 premiere.
Game of Thrones tourism on the rise as top film locations see up to 2270% increase in traveller search activity year-over-year on TripAdvisor.
The organisation has announced the top 10 most popular “Game of Thrones” tours throughout the world, based on TripAdvisor attractions booking data, leading into the Season 7 premiere on July 16.
In recognition of its ranking on the list, TripAdvisor teamed up with cast member Kristian Nairn to surprise unsuspecting TripAdvisor tour-goers on the Game of Thrones tour ranked #1 in the UK and #3 in the world. True to form, TripAdvisor provided a VIP experience by having Kristian pop out from behind a door at Ballintoy Harbour made famous as part of the Iron Islands of House Greyjoy, leaving the tour-goers speechless. After the surprise, Kristian and the tour guide shared insider information about the show and invited everyone to pose for a photo recreating Kristian’s famous “hold the door” scene.
“I love my job because every day I’m able to provide a top-rate tour experience for people just as passionate about the Game of Thrones as myself,” said Caroline McComb, tour operator. “Today, however, was on a whole new level. An amazing experience, only on a TripAdvisor tour!” To view the video, click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2tOnooK
TripAdvisor also analyzed annual search activity data for Game of Thrones filming locations since 2012, a year after the series began to air, to determine show’s influence on tourism to those destinations. Most locations have experienced significant increases in traveler interest, as much as 2270%, after appearing on the show.
Top 10 Most Booked Game of Thrones Tours on TripAdvisor
- Viator Exclusive: ‘Game of Thrones’ Walking Tour of Dubrovnik, Croatia (bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $65.50)
Travelers can discover Game of Thrones (GOT) film sites of Old Town of Dubrovnik on this guided walking tour that takes in the real-life attractions used for some of the show’s fictional locations including Lovrijenac Fortress, Blackwater Bay and a trip to Trsteno Arboretum.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Filming Locations Tour From Reykjavik, Iceland(bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $127.59)
Travelers can visit GOT filming locations on this full-day guided tour, including Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Iceland’s largest geothermal power stations at Nesjavellir, Lake Thingvallavatn’s panoramic vistas as well as Thjorsárdalur valley.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ and Giant’s Causeway Full-Day Tour from Belfast, UK (bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $45.32)
Kristian Nairn, member of the ensemble cast, recently surprised and thrilled unsuspecting fans on this popular GOT tour. Travelers can see the magical locations where GOT is filmed on a full-day tour of the UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Fans visit key filming locations, such as the caves and Dark Hedges road, while listening to inside gossip about popular characters.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Film Location Tour from Dublin Including Giant’s Causeway, Ireland (bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $62.66)
Travelers discover sites made famous from GOT visiting beautiful locations such as the Dark Hedges, the Cushendun Caves, Ballintoy Harbour and Larrybane. There are also photo opportunities at the iconic ruin of Dunluce Castle and Giant’s Causeway.
- Viator Exclusive: ‘Game of Thrones’ Tour in Split, Croatia (bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $77.47)
Travelers get an insider’s view of GOT on this 3.5-hour guided walking tour in Split. A local guide provides a behind-the-scenes look, learning about spots in the fictional city of Meereen and the fortress of Klis, before ending at Diocletian’s Palace.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Filming Locations Tour from Belfast including Giant’s Causeway, UK (bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $38.85)
Travelers embark on an epic journey through the Seven Kingdoms on this full-day tour of Northern Ireland’s GOT filming locations, such as Dark Hedges, Cushendun Caves and Carrickfergus Castle. Along the way, marvel at natural wonders like the Giant’s Causeway, see the Titanic Studios and walk the notorious Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
- Game of Thrones Tour with Karaka Cruise and Dubrovnik Walking Tour, Croatia (bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $48.99)
Travelers sail into the fantastical world of GOT with this action-packed 2-hour cruise and walking tour throughout King’s Landing. Board the same ship that Daenerys Targaryen sailed and then walk through Dubrovnik’s Old Town to discover where other famous scenes were set.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Filming Locations Tour in Malta (bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $67.21)
Travelers discover the Lands of Ice and Fire on this full-day tour of Malta’s GOT filming locations. On this tour, which was designed and is led by two actors who appeared on the series, travelers get up close to the ancient forts, parkland and streets that set the scene for the Red Keep and King’s Landing.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Location Tour from Belfast including Giant’s Causeway, UK (bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $33.04)
Travelers explore sites made famous in GOT, and explore the Causeway Coastal Route with panoramic views over the countryside. Visit top local attractions including Cushendun Caves, Ballintoy Harbour and Larrybane, Giant’s Causeway and the Dark Hedges.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Guided Day Trip to Girona from Barcelona, Spain(bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of $112.78)
Travelers follow in the footsteps of the Lannisters and the Targaryens on this 8-hour GOT–themed tour in Girona. Explore the medieval city through the eyes of key characters, sample King’s Hand ice cream, and enjoy free time to see the city’s Roman walls, Jewish district and more.
Spain and Iceland are Most Popular Game of Thrones Tourism Destinations
Among the most popular GOT film locations on TripAdvisor is Spain, with 12 destinations serving as fictional background for Kings Landing, Dorne, Vaes Dothrak, and more. Local Spanish landmarks like the Castle of Zafra saw a 488% year-over-year increase in interest from international travelers after its appearance in Season 6. Osuna´s bullfighting ring, appearing as the Fighting Pits of Mereen, has experienced a 215% increase in traveler interest. The city of Girona, which served as King´s Landing, Braavos, Dorne, Hornhill or Oldtown, saw a traffic increase of 62% at the beginning of Season 6.
Vik, Iceland, has also experienced a large increase in traffic (1300%), comparing 2012 to 2016. Iceland in general has experienced a notable increase of 531%, since the show’s premiere in 2011, driven mainly by Americans (684%) and Brits (379%) wanting to visit the fictional filming location of The Wall and Beyond.
Country Antrim in Northern Ireland Another GOT Tourism Hotspot
An iconic GOT filming destination since Season 1, the Northern Irelandregion of Country Antrim has been the backdrop for King’s Landing, King’s Road, and Winterfell, among others. This region has piqued the interest of travelers, increasing search traffic +229% since the end of 2012.
“Pop culture and TV can have a powerful influence on travel and TripAdvisor data reveals that the Game of Thrones phenomenon has driven a remarkable increase in tourism to numerous destinations in Europe,” said Brooke Ferencsik, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. “The good news for travellers is that TripAdvisor provides access to amazing bookable tours so fans can have a first-hand experience at filming locations to bring some of the Game of Thrones fantasy into reality.”
PHOTO – TOP OF PAGE: Kristian Nairn “holds the door” for unsuspecting tour goers on TripAdvisor’s #1 Game of Thrones Tour in Northern Ireland