Kanye and Game of Thrones boost tourism in Ireland

Thrones tours advertised to tour operators in US and Europe

The globally popular TV series Game of Thrones and a well-publicised honeymoon for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in Ireland have led to an increase in visitor numbers to the region this year, the country’s tourism minister tells TTG Digital.

Thrones has given a boost in tourism numbers particularly to Northern Ireland, Paschal Donohoe said, as large parts of the series were filmed in Castle Ward, County Down – more familiar as Winterfell to fans of the TV show.

“I’m a big fan of the books myself, and they’ve been a great boost to tourism,” he said. “When I was in the US recently I noticed that there were a huge number of Irish companies advertising Game of Thrones tours to US tour operators – there is no doubt that it has helped [increase tourist numbers].”

Donohoe also said the presence of celebrity couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West who honeymooned in the Republic of Ireland in May this year had boosted visitor numbers.

“It had a natural indirect effect – people looked at Kim and Kanye coming to Ireland and it made them think – ‘if it’s good enough for them, there must be something worth exploring’.” It also encouraged journalists to want to write about Ireland who might not have done so before.”

TTG Digital

[pictured: In the yard of Castle Ward; courtesy HBO]

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