‘North Coast is a film mecca’

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The North Coast is gaining a reputation as a go-to location for big film and television production companies eager to film here.

American TV company, HBO continues to use Northern Ireland’s mountains and forests to help set the scene for the phenomenally successful, Game of Thrones series which returns to screens this month for a fifth season. Good news for Northern Ireland, as during the filming of seasons 1 – 3 an estimated £65.5m was spent on goods and services here.

And last year, Hollywood rolled into town to film, Dracula Untold - which filmed at the Giant’s Causeway - with a cast and crew of hundreds and armed with a $100m budget, some of which was spent locally.

But that’s only a small part of the much bigger picture.

“When Hollywood comes to town you know you’re doing something right”, said Laura McCorry, Tourism Northern Ireland Director of Product Development. “And Northern Ireland can boast several big projects over the last number of years with more to come.

“When people see our Jurassic coastlines, crumbling castles, stately homes, mountains, forests and cityscapes on the TV they see into the heart of our offering, and that is something we are very keen to capitalise on,” says Laura.

Tourism Northern Ireland has met with a number of local tour operators who have built experiences around the Game of Thrones locations, and is continuing work to enable local trade to develop further initiatives based on screen tourism.

Last Halloween, the team at Tourism Northern Ireland also released a map to guide visitors around the Dracula Untold filming locations.

The localplaces and attractions in Northern Ireland which can been seen on screen include the Causeway, Downhill Beach, Portstewart Strand, Mussenden Temple and Ballintoy Harbour.

The 2013 film Dracula Untold Dracula Untold combined vampire mythology with the true history of Prince Vlad tell the origin of Dracula starring Luke Evans.

Game of Thrones, the epic fantasy television series created for HBO has also used many north coast locations.

Laura adds: “There is no doubt we can be a place visitors can immerse themselves in their experience of choice, then sample our culture and enjoy new and exciting activities.”