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GLASS OF THRONES 1LOCATED AT THE AC HOTEL
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The AC Hotel Belfast, located on the waterfront, is the first Marriott hotel in Northern Ireland.
Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for HBO. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, the first of which is A Game of Thrones. The show was shot in the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, and Spain. It premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011, and concluded on May 19, 2019, with 73 episodes broadcast over eight seasons.
Set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, Game of Thrones has a large ensemble cast and follows several story arcs throughout the course of the show. The first major arc concerns the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros through a web of political conflicts among the noble families either vying to claim the throne or fighting for independence from whoever sits on it. A second focuses on the last descendant of the realm's deposed ruling dynasty, who has been exiled to Essos and is plotting to return and reclaim the throne. The third follows the Night's Watch, a military order defending the realm against threats from beyond Westeros's northern border.
Game of Thrones attracted a record viewership on HBO and has a broad, active, and international fan base. Critics have praised the series for its acting, complex characters, story, scope, and production values, although its frequent use of nudity and violence (including sexual violence) has been subject to criticism. The final season received significant critical backlash for its reduced length and creative decisions, with many considering it a disappointing conclusion. The series received 59 Primetime Emmy Awards, the most by a drama series, including Outstanding Drama Series in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019. Its other awards and nominations include three Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation, a Peabody Award, and five nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama. Many critics and publications have named the show as one of the best television series of all time.
Northern Ireland Screen, a UK government agency financed by Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund, helped fund Game of Thrones. Tourism Ireland has a Game of Thrones-themed marketing campaign similar to New Zealand's Tolkien-related advertising.
According to First Minister Arlene Foster, the series has given Northern Ireland the most publicity in its history apart from The Troubles. The production of Game of Thrones and other TV series boosted Northern Ireland's creative industries, contributing to an estimated 12.4 percent growth in arts, entertainment and recreation jobs between 2008 and 2013 (compared with 4.3 percent in the rest of the UK during the same period). After filming had finished, HBO converted its filming locations in Northern Ireland into tourist attractions to be opened in 2019. By 2019, 350,000 visitors, or one sixth of all tourists, came to Northern Ireland annually because of Game of Thrones.
Tourism organisations elsewhere reported increases in bookings after their locations appeared in Game of Thrones. Between 2014 and 2016, Hotels.com reported hotel bookings increased by 285 percent in Iceland and 120 percent in Dubrovnik. In 2016, bookings doubled in Ouarzazate, Morocco, the location of Daenerys' season three scenes. Dubrovnik also saw an increase in overnight tourist stays after episodes aired. However, the increase in tourism driven by the series—estimated to be responsible for half of its annual increase over many years—led to concerns about "over-tourism" and its mayor imposing limits on tourist numbers in the city. Following the series finale, HBO announced in April 2019 a new exhibition and tourist attraction containing show props and set pieces. The attraction, titled Game of Thrones Studio Tour, will be located at former show filming location Linen Mill Studios outside Belfast. Studies showed that the series had an overall positive economic impacts for both Northern Ireland and Dubrovnik. Despite the positive economic results, the impact from Game of Thrones–related tourist activities could damage historical sites and other locations of cultural value.
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