Something gigantic was causing a stir along Portstewart Strand on Friday morning: . large footprints appeared in the sand, disappearing into the sand banks.
Passers-by couldn’t believe their eyes as they took their morning stroll across the beach. Perhaps a giant had also taken his morning stroll?
The giant footprints in the sand are part of a new 12 week campaign created by Tourism Ireland.
The giant’s footprints were created by a team of award-winning sand sculptors from the Netherlands.
The tourism scheme is in association with Game of Thrones, and creates stunts around Northern Ireland to follow on from the huge success of the HBO programme.
The tourism bodyis releasing a mixture of short videos and images from the various stunts on Facebook and Twitter – which are then being shared by Game of Thrones fans worldwide to celebrate the show and its filming locations in Northern Ireland.
It all began when Tourism Ireland placed wooden signs, pointing the way to the Iron Islands and other Westeros locations, near to where they were actually filmed, in real life, in Northern Ireland. A three-eyed raven even perched on some of the signs.
This was followed by swords, daggers and maces deposited in a special ‘sharp objects bin’ at Belfast City Airport.
Things got even more surreal when Tourism Ireland placed Targaryen-farmed dragon eggs ‘on sale’ in St George’s Market in Belfast for the price of 125 Gold Dragons – the currency used in Game of Thrones. The eggs were controlled by remote control and started to vibrate as potential customers came close!
Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland, told The Coleraine Times: ‘This series of campaigns is mixing the fantasy of Game of Thrones with the fantastic beauty of the North Coast.
“The giant footprints have the Giant going in the direction of the Giants Causeway, but you will also see other things along the North Coast.
You will see wooden signs which are showing various Westeros locations.’
The campaign is focused on social media, which is being shared by the large number of Game of Thrones fans worldwide to celebrate the show and its filming locations in Northern Ireland.
Gill McIlmoyle, supervisor at Portstewart Strand National Trust, said:‘The National Trust was approached by Tourism Ireland, and it relates back to last year when Game of Thrones was filmed here, in August.
“ It was a massive opportunity for the strand to be put on a world stage. Game of Thrones is known throughout the world and its amazing to have the opportunity to talk to people across the world and to say this is the beach I work on.’
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘We aim to build on the success of last year’s campaign, reaching out to the show’s global fanbase and to showcase the spectacular scenery of Northern Ireland.
“Our new campaign is a fun and innovative way to bring the destination to the attention of Game of Thrones fans worldwide.
“They will see these ads, spiking their curiosity about the landscapes and locations featured in the series and inspiring them to come and explore them for themselves.”
Further information on the Game of Thrones themed stunts can be found at – www.tourismireland.com