Game of Thrones, Tourism, and the Ethics of Adaptation

Robert Peaslee, Rosalynn Vasquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines “adaptation tourism,” a form of media-induced tourism understood to be distinct from “screen tourism” or “literary tourism” marked by tourist activity related to an adaptation from one media format to another. Such adaptation tourism activates an existing fan base and as a result provides considerably more upside in terms of the potential long-tail impact of tourism, but also faces particularly acute challenges in terms of fidelity and potential negative fan reactions. Moreover, this article suggests an ethical dimension to adaptation. Examining Game of Thrones tourism in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK), this research shows that the choice to adapt popular works through extensive location shooting invites significant increases in visitation, thereby bringing sustainability issues to the fore and forcing communities to “adapt” to new realities. The changes that occur on the local level, while often positive in the short-term, may have deleterious impacts
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-242
JournalAdaptation
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

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