Belfast is continuing to establish itself as a ‘new capital’ for tourism in Europe, with recently opened (and soon to open) hotels, and a raft of added attractions. Leading the way in new reasons to visit are some 25 visitor experiences directly linked to the Game of Thrones TV series – including 10 doors marking scenes from the saga, six stained glass installations, and a massive Game of Thrones tapestry. These are all added to the various natural and historical sites used in the show around Northern Ireland, plus the Touring Exhibition which is in the city until 1 September.
Catherine Gray, media visits coordinator with Tourism Northern Ireland, says more is to come. The Linen Mill Studios, in Bainbridge will open a Game of Thrones Studio Tour in the spring of 2020. It will showcase authentic sets, costumes and props from all seasons of the hit series. ‘Our top attractions are the Titanic Museum and the Giant’s Causeway, but Game of Thrones has given us another high profile reason to visit,’ she says. Gray says her message to travel agents is that Northern Ireland can be promoted as a small, compact and easy to reach destination, just two hours drive from Dublin. ‘Belfast has its various locations, like the Cathedral Quarter, Linen Quarter and Titanic Quarter. But just a 20 minute drive from Belfast gets people into the countryside.’
By Stu Freeman