Game of Thrones Tourism Spurs Croatian Economy

    Game of Thrones filming in Croatia Game of Thrones filming in Croatia source: HAVC

    ZAGREB: Film tourism related to the mega-popular HBO series Game of Thrones, which started shooting in Dubrovnik, Split and elsewhere in the Dalmatia region exactly ten years ago, brought a total revenue of 180.7 million euros to the Croatian economy from 2013 to 2018.

    HBO spent an additional 5.7 m EUR / 43 m HRK on the filming of Game of Thrones in Croatia, while the incentive measures of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) provided a return of 1.1 m EUR / 8.5 m HRK.

    The data comes from a study by Martina Vukašina, Josip Miočić and Mirela Brechelmacher, published in the scientific journal Oeconomica Jadertina, issued by the University of Zadar.

    “This series really made us famous! I’ve often experienced that foreigners know about Game of Thrones and Dubrovnik, even if they don’t know where Croatia is. The purpose of our paper was to raise further awareness of the economic potential provided by the development of the film industry in Croatia. We’ve also detected the lack of adequate accommodation as an obstacle for attracting even more big productions. In Zadar, for example, we have only one five-star hotel, and when you are hosting an A-level production, you have to accommodate all those people who require a certain type of service”, said Martina Vukašina, a scholar who was also involved in the establishment of the Zadar Film Commission in 2014.

    Excursions connecting filming locations such as the Dubrovnik Walls, Diocletian's Palace and Klis fortress in Split, and the Krka River Waterfalls are still among the most popular offers of Croatian and international tourist agencies operating in the Adriatic, and it is not rare to see tourists trying to recreate the most famous scenes from Game of Thrones in the streets of Croatian coastal cities. This has also affected the local souvenir service, especially in Dubrovnik, that doubled for King's Landing.

    Game of Thrones was among the first beneficiaries of the Croatian tax rebate programme, which was introduced in 2012 under the name Filming in Croatia. Service production of the series was handled by the Dubrovnik-based company Embassy Films.