Boosting Northern Ireland Tourism With Cinematic Attractions

Northern Ireland is small, but it’s a treasure trove of breathtaking, film-worthy landscapes. And it is no coincidence that the film industry is expanding a lot: it is thanks to series such as Game of Thrones that it is rebuilding its international reputation.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones was a worldwide success, but Northern Ireland also provided the filming location for Netflix’s The School for Good and Evil and The Northman, last year’s award-winning TV series. Work is scheduled this year on the Blade Runner 2099 series and several other film productions are underway in and around Belfast.

“There are probably more people in the world who know Northern Ireland only for Game of Thrones than for our difficult history,” Richard Williams, managing director of Northern Ireland Screen, the national film agency, explained to Agence France Presse. promoting the manufacturing industry in Northern Ireland.

The point of reference for this sector are the Belfast shipyards: if they were once famous for the production of boats, today they are almost more so for having made large spaces available for film and series producers. Here, in fact, there is the headquarters of Titanic Studios, among the largest structures of this type in Europe. And according to Williams there is a certain analogy between the construction of ships and the production of a film: knowledge, technology, long lead times and the need for large budgets.

The UK government has provided tax breaks for those investing in the film industry and the world of research has also been engaged. Ulster University Belfast has partnered with the port for its new Studio Ulster project: thanks to an investment of 28.5 million euros, “state-of-the-art technology structures for cinema and television” will be created, he underlined director Declan Keeney, «we have a booming industry with enthusiastic people. The university and academy already represent a talent pool, with 900 students working across 3D skills, manufacturing and other industry-related disciplines.”

And from the port of Belfast to the north coast of Northern Ireland, where there are breathtaking landscapes, it takes less than an hour – a logistical and economic advantage for production companies.

The development of the film industry also has a positive impact on tourism: the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, for example, has estimated, for example, that in 2018, the peak for Game of Thrones, the series attracted 350,000 visitors to Northern Ireland North generating a benefit of 57 million euros for the local economy.

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