When House of the Dragon makes its highly-anticipated global debut this week, it won’t just be fans who will be poring over every scene.
The tourist boards of the UK’s Cornwall and Peak District regions, plus their counterparts in Spain and Portugal, will also be watching carefully – and bracing themselves for a huge influx of extra visitors this year, travellers inspired by their most beautiful landscapes all featured in the forthcoming fantasy epic.
Its predecessor Game of Thrones transformed the tourism industry of Croatia, Iceland and Northern Ireland during the decade after filming began in 2011.
Visit Cornwall’s chief executive, Malcolm Bell, told The Guardian newspaper that he knew local beauty spots such as St Michael’s Mount, Mounts Bay and Holywell Beach all featured in the new show, and he thoroughly expected the crowds to come to see the landmarks in real life.
Cornwall has also enjoyed a boost from shows including the BBC’s Poldark (both the original 1970s version and the recent reboot) and ITV’s Doc Martin being filmed in the area.
And it’s a similar story on the Iberian peninsula. In Spain, tourism industry execs are already preparing tours to the gritstone edges of Stanage, Curbar and the village of Hollinsclough, home to the Dragon’s Back ridge, while in Portugal queues are expected to form in cafes and restaurants in the hilltop village of Monsanto, when its troglodytic homes and massive granite boulders become familiar across the world.