Peñiscola economy boosted by Game of Thrones tourism

The Castellón town benefits from increased tourism following the filming of the series

For many of us the news that Drogo, the dragon of Daenerys Targaryen, has appeared out of nowhere in Daznak’s Pit means little, but for fans of Game of Thrones it means the end of the fifth series and, in the early hours of this Monday morning, the beginning of the sixth on Spanish television.

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In addition, for the local economies of various towns in Spain it means a huge shot in the arm, with the estimated economic effect of the new episodes having been filmed in this country exceeding 1,000 million euros in the case of the Castellón coastal town of Peñíscola.

This is the figure arrived at by consultancy firm JP Media, taking into account the effect on tourism of all of the news items appearing in printed, digital and audiovisual media in relation to the presence of film crews between June last year and January 2016. The JP Media study concludes that out of 5,000 news items produced 4,411 have appeared in digital media, and these have been viewed 2,675 billion times. A further 4 million readers have seen printed articles in the Spanish press, and further exposure has been gained to 4 million television viewers.

In Peñíscola 2,400 people were admitted as extras for the filming, and by September an increase of 40% in visitor numbers to the town had been noted. As a result the Town Hall, in recognition of the contribution made by the series to the local economy, decided to waive the tariff which would normally be charged for permission to film in Peñíscola.

Throughout filming over 500 people were staying in temporary accommodation in the town, and the shooting of the new episodes was promoted in 1,200 travel agencies.

Peñíscola is no stranger to film crews, and has been the venue for filming of many movies over the last few decades, most notably perhaps in 1961 when Charlton Heston and the rest of the crew visited to shoot “El Cid”.

Other locations used in the filming of the sixth series of Game of Thrones include Osuna in the province of Sevilla, where the bullring has been restored as a result of the demands of the crew, the Alcazaba of Almería, the Torre de Mesa Roldán in the same province, the monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants and other locations in Girona (Catalunya), the castle of Zafra in Guadalajara, Las Bardenas in Navarra and many parts of Northern Ireland.