Belfast has received a welcome injection of cash, from the unexpected source of popular TV series Game of Thrones.
The HBO production is filmed in Co Antrim, and as a result even more tourists have been attracted to Belfast.
The producers felt that the county’s stunning scenery was the perfect setting for the fantasy series, and many fans of the show have visited Belfast in order to see the beautiful landscapes first hand.
Belfast’s economy has had an estimated $129m pumped into it as a direct result of Game of Thrones. Mostly spent in the hospitality sector, but several smaller local businesses will also see the benefit.
‘Whole different side to Northern Ireland’
Moyra Lock, of the Northern Ireland Screen Agency said: “Apart from the pure economic impact on Northern Ireland in terms of expenditure and goods and services, I think there is a huge tourism value. When people see ‘Game Of Thrones’ on the TV they will see a whole different side to Northern Ireland.
“They see the beautiful locations here.”
The Titanic museum, one of Belfast’s most popular tourist attractions, has also taken advantage of the increase in visitors. They have put together a special exhibition of costumes used in the show.
Game of Thrones is a story of the Seven Kingdoms, and their battle to control the Iron Throne. It is based the novels of George R.R. Martin and the first three seasons have been hugely popular and developed a cult following. A fourth season is due to be aired next year.