Game of Thrones Tourism
TOURISTS ARE COMING…
I always wondered how many Dubrovnik visitors actually decided to come here primarily because of the Game of Thrones. In past two years I toured The Game of Thrones locations with many travelers that hailed from all over the world, even from places that are generally not perceived as Croatia’s traditional tourist markets, such as Philippines or Iceland.
Regardless to where they were from, their impressions were unanimous: for them Dubrovnik was and will always remain King’s Landing. Dubrovnik has obviously become an inseparable part of the magical GoT world, but the question I often posed still hasn’t been answered as no official research has been conducted yet.
While the other filming locations in Iceland and Northern Ireland managed to establish a direct connection between the rise of tourism and the popularity of the show, the seasonal nature of Dubrovnik tourist industry made this a bit more difficult to measure. Dubrovnik is a traditional summer tourist destination whose popularity has been growing constantly from the 90s onward. Tourism was, in fact, the only sector that wasn’t touched by global recession in 2008 as the number of tourist arrivals has shown a steady growth with the average of 10% annually.
Although the influence of The Game of Thrones on Dubrovnik’s tourist industry still hasn’t been assessed properly, everyone can agree that the filming has definitely helped in putting Dubrovnik on the map, at least for those people that weren’t aware about its existence or were not considering Dubrovnik as an option for their vacation.
In the absence of an official research I decided to take a closer look into the official tourism statistics and see whether it is possible to establish some correlation between the show and tourist arrivals.