Tax incentives bring film tourism to Spain

Tax incentives bring film tourism to Spain

Tax incentives bring film tourism to Spain

Tourism in the Andalusian city of Seville has risen by 25%, with many people citing the Game of Thrones season 5 filming as one of the key catalysts for the increase in tourists in the south.

Spain’s already burgeoning tourism industry is expected to continue to grow thanks to tax incentives luring the Game of Thrones production crew back to Spain for its sixth series, along with Universal Pictures who recently shot the fifth installment of the Bourne film series starring Matt Damon.


Tax incentives have been cited by Fresco Films as one of the reasons for choosing Spain as a filming location for the Game of Thrones series. In January 2014, the Spanish Government introduced a 15% local spend tax credit for international productions which are paid six-twelve months following the tax year of when the production spending occurred. For a large production like Game of Thrones, the tax credit may not seem like much: there is a capped credit limit of 2.5 million euros. This isn’t a huge amount for international film productions (and the UK and Hungary offer even higher deductions.) However, mainland Spain offers the added bonus of diverse landscapes within close-range, as well as access to historical buildings such as the Alcazar in Seville which was featured in the fifth series of the fantasy drama.

Game of Thrones fans are now heading to Spain to follow the footsteps of some of the series’ characters, with luxury, Game of Thrones themed tours already in operation and increasing tourist spending in the region. Tourism could potentially spread to other areas of the country with the Game of Thrones production adding new areas to their series six list of filming locations, such as Girona in Spain’s north and Peniscola on the Mediterranean coast.


Scenes from the fifth installment of the Bourne film series were shot recently in Santa Cruz, Tenerife to stand in as the port of Athens in the movie. In Canary Islands the tax credit increases to an attractive 35%, along with the tax advantages already in place in Canary Islands  making shooting in the region cheaper than many other areas of Europe with sunny weather and volcanic-like landscapes offering further incentives.

Gabriel Wolgeschaffen, Vice-president of Ashotel (Asociación Hotelera y Extrahotelera de Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera y El Hierro) where 600 people stayed for the Bourne filming, said that the production would provide a significant boost for hotels in the city, as well as for other sectors on the island. Seven million of the 100 million euro budget for the film is reported to have stayed on the island throughout the five weeks of filming.

For information on investment and legal services in Spain, please contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.

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