Friday July 14, 2017
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Certain scenes of GoT were shot in Iceland, primarily in the Thingvellir National Park, one of the country's key historic, cultural and geological sites. — AFP picCertain scenes of GoT were shot in Iceland, primarily in the Thingvellir National Park, one of the country's key historic, cultural and geological sites. — AFP picPARIS, July 14 — The cult fantasy series Game of Thrones is credited with driving up interest to destinations like Iceland, Croatia, Seville, Spain, and Ireland which double as the Seven Kingdoms on the show, as “Thronies” get geared up for the premiere of the show’s seventh season.

A new data report from online booking site Hotels.com suggests that the show has inspired a movement of fans, or “Thronies” to embark on pilgrimages to some of its most popular filming locations, with online searches for key destinations experiencing notable spikes in recent years. 

The country to reap the most benefits from the show? Iceland, whose otherworldly landscape doubles convincingly as the land beyond The Wall: Since 2014, when the show began to gain momentum, searches for hotels in Iceland shot up 258 per cent, says Hotels.com. 

Searches also spiked 30 per cent between 2016 and 2017.  

Another key filming location, Split in Croatia, saw a 120 per cent spike in searches, while Sibenik, which served as the city of Braavos in the series, saw hotel searches increase 60 per cent. 

Representing the most exotic of the Seven Kingdoms, Dorne, is Seville, Spain, where searches have gone up 145 per cent. 

With rumors that Belfast is set to play a key role in the upcoming season, analysts also predict that interest in the city — searches have grown 120 per cent — will only rise in 2017.

Game of Thrones returns July 16. — AFP-Relaxnews

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