Tourism Ireland has done an excellent job of capturing this unique opportunity by getting Skywalker himself, Mark Hammill, to talk about Ireland’s beauty. Hammill praises the beautiful vistas and the welcoming Irish people before delivering the money shot: “I would urge anyone planning a vacation to go to Ireland. You’ll never find another place like it... I wish we could have shot the entire film there.” Many local tours have since popped up near filming locations.
“I would urge anyone planning a vacation to go to Ireland.” – Mark HammillSecondly, is the ‘most popular TV show of all time’ Game of Thrones. Much of the HBO series is filmed in Northern Ireland and Titanic Studios has been the main studio and post-production facility for all eight seasons. Other external locations such as the Dark Hedges in Co. Antrim (known by fans as ‘Kingsroad’) can be seen all over Instagram, posted by fans of the show.Like Star Wars, the tourism board has done an excellent job of using the show to drive tourism to the area. Discover Northern Ireland has created a tour around the country that brings visitors to ten intricately carved wooden doors in various pubs. The doors were carved from trees along the Dark Hedges that were felled by Storm Gertrude and each depicts the plot of a season six episode. When tourists take on the tour they are told of all the nearby filming locations.The final property that has driven considerable tourism to Ireland is Harry Potter. Co. Clare’s Cliffs of Moher feature prominently in the Half-Blood Prince and the cliffs are now Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. Of course, the cliffs in all their glory would draw tourism without Harry Potter, but the wizard has helped to bump the numbers up even further.Even Trinity College’s Long Room has benefited from Harry Potter. The Old Library gets in excess of half a million visitors a year and many believe it was the inspiration for Hogwarts’ own library. However, it was Star Wars the college had a problem with: in 2002, Trinity almost sued Lucasfilm due to a striking resemblance between ‘the Jedi Archives’ in Attack of the Clones and the Long Room. The Jedi version even had busts of Star Wars characters where Trinity has busts of historical figures such as Shakespeare and Homer.To date, filming has also taken place on UCD’s campus. However, it is unlikely RTE’s Striking Out or the Pierce Brosnan-led thriller I.T. will draw much tourism to the Belfield campus.Both travel and film & TV offer those who enjoy them a way to escape reality. The temporary relief from the real world that may be achieved through travel is mimicked when we are transported into film and TV. Marrying both recreational activities makes perfect sense.