The hotly-anticipated Game of Thrones finale is nigh with fan theories reaching fever-pitch – and it seems Kiwis can’t get enough, with viewers flocking to global destinations which have inspired the show.
As millions of viewers tune in each week, leading online travel agent Webjet.co.nz has revealed that overall bookings to GoT style locations have grown by 172 per cent since series five premiered in 2015.
Spain is the most popular country generating more than a third- of these bookings to its array of filming locations; including the amphitheatre at Italica (near Seville) which provided the backdrop for scenes in the thrilling season seven finale.
This is followed closely by Ireland (32 per cent), the real life location of Winterfell, and Scotland (22 per cent) where the first ever pilot was filmed at Doune Castle.
Interestingly, the fastest growing location is Croatia. Despite ranking fourth in the top trending destinations, the country has experienced a staggering 305 per cent uplift in total bookings since 2015 as fans seek to explore the dramatic location of King's Landing.
Many adventurers are going solo as they follow in the footsteps of Jon Snow to experience these awe-inspiring places. In fact, solo travellers made up the largest share of bookings between 2015 and 2019 (48 per cent), closely followed by couples (41 per cent), who share their love of the throne.
Surprisingly, it is the older audiences (45-65) who are generating the highest volume of bookings, closely followed by 26-35 year olds. Younger audiences have since caught up, with those aged 18-25 showing the biggest growth in 2018 after the season seven finale revealed Snow is true heir to the Seven Kingdoms, which is set within the historic city of Dubrovnik in Croatia.
"As a huge Game of Thrones fan myself, it’s no surprise that people who share a love of the show are heading off in search of these dramatic and unique destinations,” says Webjet CEO OTA David Galt. “We’re expecting this epic travel trend to continue beyond the finale as excitement piques and Game of Thrones lovers look to continue the journey – seeking out their own iron thrones.
"What’s more, it’s the perfect time to head to hotter destinations in Europe as for us here in New Zealand – winter is coming…"
The top five trending Game of Thrones locations are Spain, Ireland, Scotland, Croatia and Iceland.
In the countdown to finding out the ultimate fate of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and the rest of Westeros, Webjet is also offering a 13-day tour of Croatia so fans looking for their next adventure can experience world-renowned sites and awe-inspiring landscapes.