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Game of Thrones inspires surge in tourism to County Antrim, TripAdvisor data reveals
TripAdvisor data reveals rising interest in UK counties from international and domestic travellers

County Antrim has seen the biggest year-on-year increase in interest from international tourists of any UK county, according to travel trends data released today by TripAdvisorTM, the world’s largest travel site.

County Antrim, which is home to a host of filming locations for popular TV series Game of Thrones, has seen interest from international travellers increase on TripAdvisor by 65% since 2014. UK travellers also appear to have caught Game of Thrones holiday fever, with County Antrim seeing a 47% increase in interest from domestic travellers.

Elsewhere in the UK, Bristol has seen the second highest increase in international traveller interest year-on-year, while Greater Manchester benefitted from the biggest boost in domestic traveller interest – up 53%.

TripAdvisor examined the number of session visits from travellers researching places to stay on TripAdvisor in each of the UK counties, comparing year-on-year data between 2014 and 20151.

The top ten UK counties with the biggest year-on-year increase in international and domestic traveller interest on TripAdvisor are:

International Traveller Interest

% Increase*

Domestic Traveller Interest

% Increase*

1.       County Antrim

2.       Bristol

3.       Yorkshire

4.       Tyne and Wear

5.       Belfast

6.       Lancashire

7.       West Midlands

8.       South Wales

9.       Hampshire

10.    The Hebrides











1.       Greater Manchester

2.       Wiltshire

3.       Merseyside

4.       South Wales

5.       Bristol

6.       London

7.       West Midlands

8.       Tyne and Wear

        9.     Essex   

        10.   County Antrim











*Exact percentages rounded to zero decimal points

“Studies like this show how quickly outside influences can impact tourism to a particular destination, with County Antrim being the most recent destination to benefit from film and TV tourism,” said Stephanie Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Spotting trends like this early can give independent hotels and bed & breakfast owners a big advantage. TripAdvisor provides the perfect platform for business owners looking to access insightful travel data and identify potential growth areas.”

Where to stay on your Game of Thrones-themed break

For travellers planning a trip to County Antrim, there are a number of accommodation options close to the action where Game of Thrones was filmed

·         The Fullerton Arms in Ballycastle is bookable on TripAdvisor from £81 per night2 and is located 3 minutes from Ballintoy Harbour, better known to Game of Thrones fans as the setting for the Iron Islands

·         Pinetrees Bed & Breakfast in Ballymoney has been awarded a TripAdvisor GreenLeader badge for its sustainability efforts and is just a 15 minute drive from The Dark Hedges, a popular natural attraction which doubles as The King’s Road in Game of Thrones

·         Bayview Hotel in Portballintrae is bookable on TripAdvisor from £136 per nightand is just 15 minutes from Larrybane, the filming location used for The Stormlands setting in Game of Thrones

Edinburgh remains a hotspot for international tourism traffic

The travel trends study also examined the overall level of traveller interest in each of the UK counties in the past year3. It found that Edinburgh was second only to London in terms of international traveller interest during that period. However, the Scottish capital was only the tenth most popular county destination for domestic travellers.

In fact, Yorkshire takes second place behind London in terms of domestic traveller interest, ahead of Devon and Greater Manchester.

The top ten UK counties for overall traffic from international and domestic travellers on TripAdvisor are:

International Travel

Domestic Travel

1.       London

2.       Edinburgh

3.       Yorkshire

4.       Middlesex

5.       Highlands

6.       Greater Manchester

7.       Cornwall

8.       Devon

9.       Kent

10.    Merseyside

1.       London

2.       Yorkshire

3.       Devon

4.       Greater Manchester

5.       Cumbria

6.       East Anglia

7.       Cornwall

8.       Lancashire

9.       Hampshire

10.    Edinburgh



1This study examined TripAdvisor site data to find which UK counties had the largest increases in user traffic, taking into account natural growth, according to year-on-year growth in share of domestic user sessions and international user sessions. Year on year data compares the periods 1 April 2013 – 1 April 2014 to 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 and is based on traffic to accommodation pages and county destination pages on TripAdvisor.

2Prices based on available room rates using TripAdvisor price comparison tool on 5 June 2015 for accommodation stays taking place between 3 August 2015 – 9 August 2015.

3Measuring overall session counts to UK accommodation pages on TripAdvisor from 1 April 2014 to 1 April 2015.