Is the Game of Thrones love affair with Croatia losing out to Spain?
It has been a successful partnership embraced by both sides, which has led to a new tourism industry and even a new theme park, but is the Game of Thrones location filming about to lose out to the charms of Spain?
After years of filming in Croatia, which has done much to put the country on the tourism map for many, and seen new visitors arriving for specialised Game of Thrones filming location tours, websites dedicated to the hit HBO show are reporting that filming in Croatia for Season 6 will be much reduced, and may even be restricted to a few days filming in Dubrovnik in October.
What is certain is that, after an expansion of filming locations to places such as Split, Klis, Sibenik and Kastela, there has been no call for casting for extras so far this year by Embassy Films. By contrast, extras for Klis, for example, were sought in June last year.
According to blogs dedicated to the show, Spanish locations have been increased for the filming of season 6, seemingly at the expense of Croatia, as Winter is Coming writes:
“The other question is where all this increased interest in Spain leaves Croatia, which has long been a kind of home base for Game of Thrones filming. Recently, Spanish fan site Los Sietos Reinos noted the conspicuous lack of casting calls for extras in the area and speculated that the production may have a reduced presence in the region for Season 6. If so, Croatia’s loss will be Spain’s gain.”
Watchers on the Wall goes a little further:
With all the excitement over expanded filming in Spain this year, the question has been asked: exactly how much Game of Thrones shooting will be happening in Croatia? Croatia, with the port city of Dubrovnik as the show’s base, has been a major location since season 2. Dubrovnik’s Old Town has shaped the look of King’s Landing and the people of the country have played a role in production as well, with thousands of local extras signing on over the years.
Watchers On The Wall can confirm we’ve been hearing from various sources for a couple months now that Game of Thrones will be returning to Croatia for only a short amount of filming this year, possibly less than a week.
“Additionally Embassy Films, who handles production services in Croatia, has not put out a casting call for any extras in the country as of yet.
“This week, several readers of the site bring us new rumors out of Croatia, confirming what we’ve long been hearing unofficially.
“According to our Croatian friend The Rabbit, the current word is that filming in Dubrovnik will take place in October for couple of days, maybe a week, only.
“WotW reader Harold was visiting Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island last week, and stopped by the new Lokrum Visitors Center in the former Benedictine Monastery. The visitors center houses an exhibition, including an iron throne of its own. While visiting, Harold also heard from locals that they expect filming back in October.”
TCN spoke to an extra with links to the production here in Croatia. She confirmed that she had not been contacted yet for this year’s filming, but had heard unofficially that there will be much less filming in Croatia this year, partly because some footage shot last year will be used for the new series, but that filming in Croatia will continue in some shape or form for 2016.
The ‘Game of Thrones Effect’ has the potential to do for Croatian tourism what Lord of the Rings has done for New Zealand – check out some interesting statistics on New Zealand tourism due to Lord of the Rings here.