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11 Jun 2018

2+ million to read all about Northern Ireland

Belgium, Dutch and Nordic journalists check out Game of Thrones locations

Influential journalists and bloggers from Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland have been taking part in a Game of Thrones themed visit to Northern Ireland this week. The writers – whose publications have a combined audience of over 2 million people, or potential holidaymakers for Northern Ireland – were invited here by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Tourism NI.

They began their visit with a trip along the Causeway Coastal Route, stopping off at various Game of Thrones locations – including Cairncastle (North of Winterfell), the caves at Cushendun (Stormlands), the harbour at Ballintoy (Lordsport), Portstewart Strand and the Dark Hedges (Kingsroad). The group also had the chance to see one of Tourism Ireland’s Game of Thrones doors in Mary McBride’s Pub in Cushendun and to take part in a special Game of Thrones sea safari around Murlough Bay and Fair Head. 

In Belfast, the group visited the Game of Thrones tapestry at the Ulster Museum, before exploring the Cathedral Quarter and Titanic Hotel. The last stop of the whirlwind trip was Castle Ward (Winterfell), where the group had a guided tour, dressed up in costume and tried their hand at archery.

Peter Nash, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Northern Europe, said: “The visit by these leading journalists is another important opportunity to highlight our connection with Game of Thrones and to showcase the spectacular scenery of Northern Ireland. The articles they write about the landscapes and locations featured in the series are sure to inspire many more European fans to come and explore them for themselves.

“Tourism Ireland is undertaking a busy programme of promotions throughout 2018, to build on the growth in overseas visitors to Northern Ireland. We are highlighting iconic experiences like Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and our unique National Trust properties, as well as our world-renowned golf and food.”

  Blacksmith Eamonn Higgins (centre) with journalists and bloggers (l-r) Brett Rijsdijk (the Netherlands), Ellen van Damme (Belgium), Thorkil Nielsen (Denmark), Marijke Vrijsen (Belgium), Noémie Jadoulle (Belgium), Helinä Laajalahti (Finland); and Hannah Armstrong, Tourism Ireland, at the Hot Milk Forge blacksmithing school near Ballymena.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is responsible for in excess of 5.2% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 61,300 jobs.
  • In 2017, we welcomed approximately 2.26 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £586 million. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017.