LONDON, UK. – July 13, 2017 – Recently departed, and much loved, actor Kristian Nairn was on location in Belfast yesterday, not for filming, but to surprise tour-goers on TripAdvisor’s #1 most booked Game of Thrones tour in the UK.
Re-creating his last dramatic ‘hold door’ scene from Season 6, Nairn challenged an unsuspecting tour group to break-through a door against him White Walker style. The surprise VIP experience, which took place at Ballintoy Harbour, made famous as part of the Iron Islands of House Greyjoy, left the tour-goers stunned and speechless on a visit to Giant’s Causeway, the UK’s top Game of Thrones tour.
“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!”
THE GAME OF THRONES TOURISM EFFECT
The show’s mass appeal globally has prompted an unprecedented surge in bookings via the TripAdvisor site since the show kicked-off. Search visits of Game of Thrones tours since 2012 have risen as profoundly as 2,270% at some locations*.
In anticipation of Season 7, which hits UK TV screens on July 17, TripAdvisor has revealed the show’s most popular themed tours in six of the main filming locations, spanning Northern Ireland, Croatia, Iceland, Malta and Spain.
What’s telling is that since the end of 2012, there have been clear travel peaks to the top locations every year, falling between April – July when the production companies start filming.
The Northern Ireland region of Country Antrim, which plays the backdrop of King’s Landing, King´s Road, Winterfell, The Iron Islands, Riverrun, the Twins, Slaver’s Bay and Dorne, has piqued by +229% in search traffic since the end of 2012.
Other popular locations for fan tours include Spain, the setting for Vaes Dothrak, Mereen and Braavos, where local landmarks like the Castle of Zafra have seen an incredible +488% increase in international bookings.
Iceland has also reaped the benefits of this tourism effect, with locations like Vik witnessing a rise of 1,300% search visits in three years, mainly from British, American, Canadian and German travellers.
TRIPADVISOR’S TOP BOOKED GAME OF THRONES TOURS** PER LOCATION
What To Expect: A guided walking tour that showcases the attractions and locations, including Lovrijenac Fortress, Blackwater Bay and a trip to Trsteno Arboretum
Most Booked Tour: TripAdvisor Exclusive ‘Game of Thrones’ Walking Tour of Dubrovnik
Bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of £51.76
Location #2: Rekjavik, Iceland
What To Expect: Visit GoT filming locations on a full-day guided tour, including Thingvellir National Park, Iceland’s largest geothermal power stations at Nesjavellir and Lake Thingvallavatn's panoramic vistas.
Most Booked Tour: ‘Game of Thrones’ Filming Locations Tour from Reyjavik
Bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of £90.73
Location #3: Belfast, Ireland
What To Expect: Visit key filming locations, such as the caves and Dark Hedges road, while listening to stories about popular characters on a full day tour.
Most Booked Tour: 'Game of Thrones' and Giant's Causeway Full-Day Tour from Belfast
Bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of £35
Location #4: Split, Croatia
What To Expect: 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.
Most Booked Tour: Viator Exclusive: 'Game of Thrones' Tour in Split
Bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of £61.21
Location #5: Malta
What To Expect: Get up close to the ancient forts, parkland and streets that set the scene for the Red Keep and King’s Landing.
Most Booked Tour: 'Game of Thrones' Filming Locations Tour in Malta
Bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of £53.11
Location #6: Barcelona, Spain
What To Expect: 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.
Most Booked Tour: 'Game of Thrones' Guided Day Trip to Girona from Barcelona
Bookable on TripAdvisor with low price guarantee of £89.11
“It’s great to see the Game of Thrones phenomenon having such a positive impact on tourism to Europe. The filming locations are all stunning and unique in their own right, but we’re delighted we can bring fans closer to their favourite fantasies from the show with so many amazing bookable tours,“ said Hayley Coleman, UK PR Manager. “We’re excited to see how the new season of the show inspires travellers this year!”
TripAdvisor offers a choice of Game of Thrones tours, and more than 56,000 bookable tours, activities and experiences in 2,500 destinations and 165 countries.
Travellers will unleash the full potential of any trip and secure the lowest prices available by booking direct, visit www.tripadvisor.co.uk.
For more information, please get in touch with TripAdvisor’s Press Office:
Emma.Corbett@MischiefPR.com / 020 3128 6549
*Traffic increases have been calculated based on the number of unique sessions on TripAdvisor from September 2012 through June 2017.
**Top tours are the most booked “Game of Thrones” themed tours on TripAdvisor by location during 2016
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site*, enables travellers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With more than 500 million reviews and opinions covering the world’s largest selection of travel listings worldwide -- over 7 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants -- TripAdvisor provides travellers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat. TripAdvisor also compares prices from more than 200 hotel booking sites so travellers can find the lowest price on the hotel that’s right for them. TripAdvisor-branded sites are available in 49 markets, and are home to the world’s largest travel community of 390 million average unique monthly visitors,** all looking to get the most out of every trip. TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better. Go better.
TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), through its subsidiaries, manages and operates websites under 22 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.citymaps.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.iens.nl and www.dimmi.com.au), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.housetrip.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com and www.viator.com.
*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, December 2016
**Source: TripAdvisor log files, Q1 2017