The Game of Thrones Effect: Some Lord of the Rings Numbers from New Zealand

By 7 April 2015

As the showing of the new season of Game of Thrones approaches, there will be once more increased interest in Croatia as a destination to its millions of fans, as some of Dalmatia's most stunning spots are featured in the HBO series. Kastela and Sibenik are among those added to old favourites Diocletian's Palace and the imperious Klis Fortress for the new season. 

But filming aside, what is the potential financial benefit from a tourism point of view? I a feature in the New Zealand media on Game of Thrones Croatia yesterday, the Mayor of Dubrovnik said he hoped that Game of Thrones Croatia could do what Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand. I had a quick search to try and find some official statistics, and came across these from 2004. With Croatia being a lot more accessible than New Zealand for many, could Croatia do even better?

In 2004:

Six percent of visitors to New Zealand (around 120,000 -150,000 people) cite The Lord of the Rings as being one of the main reasons for visiting New Zealand.
One per cent of visitors said that the Lord of the Rings was their main or only reason for visiting.
This one per cent related to approximately 22.6m euro in spend
63,200 visitors participated in a Lord of the Rings activity while here.
9,988 international tourists did a group tour for LOTRs fans
20,251 international tourists did an organised tour that included a LOTR site
29,233 international tourists visited a LOTR site independently
Since 2004, an average 47,000 international visitors each year have visited a film location.

If you are looking for a quality Game of Thrones tour in Croatia, check out these one-day and five-day tours.