Thanks to shows like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, HBO’s Game of Thrones, Discovery Channel’s Man, Woman, Wild, and the South Korean reality show The Romantic, exotic images of Croatia have traveled the globe in recent years and enticed the imagination of millions of viewers worldwide…
The effect on tourism these exotic images have created can not be better demonstrated by the South Korean example. Since The Romantic screened in the nation boasting over 50 million people, the number of tourists to Croatia from the Asian country has risen by more than 200%. It is not just the Koreans that filming in Croatia has had an effect on when it comes to tourism.
Since Game of Thrones has been filmed in Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split, Šibenik) there has been a rise in the number of American tourists to visit Croatia by around 25%. Filming in Croatia has not only recently become an attractive destination for production houses around the world. The 1963 US Western Winnetou was filmed in Croatia, as to was the 1970’s American musical comedy-drama Fiddler on the Roof. The question now is can Croatia kick on and use take advantage in the tourist sense with its popularity again as a filming location?
In the last two years there has been 18 foreign co-productions realised, with foreign production houses spending a total of 210 days filming in Croatia in 2014. Revenues of over 100 million kuna (13 million euros) were generated from filming activities in Croatia last year. At the end of January the American series DIG will film in Dalmatia, and the Games of Thrones crew are again expected back later this year for the fifth time.
Around 300 film professionals and extras from Croatia have gained employment this year thanks to Game of Thrones.
“Shooting Game of Thrones in Dalmatia certainly has a reputation in the world, and it has huge tourist potential. For example, the tourism fair in Barcelona where we advertised the Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva Counties, we created a map showing all the filming locations in Dalmatia, so that tourists can visit the area without any problems. 10,000 copies of the map were given out. At the same time, two travel agencies in the county have included visits to the sites in their regular programme. Exploiting the Game of Thrones brand promotion to the maximum in the Split-Dalmatia County,” said Split-Dalmatia Tourist Board Director Joško Stella. (photo / hrt)