Fantha Trackers Matt Booker and Brian Cameron were the very first fans to travel to Skellig Michael back in 2015 and the boat loads of fans that followed them have swelled visitor numbers significantly, allowing the area to reap the rewards of being the shooting location for the most sacred fictional location in all of Star Wars.
Long known as one of Ireland’s premier if tricky to reach tourist spots, it attracted 12,560 visitors in 2015 but that number surged after the cast of “Star Wars” visited the island for “The Force Awakens” and 14,678 people made the trip in 2016.
Fantastic numbers, and just as the locals have benefitted from the presence of Star Wars, the production made sure to thank the region.
— Marian O’Flaherty (@dinglenews) 1 June 2016
In a recent interview with the PA, publican Gerard Kennedy who runs a guesthouse on Portmagee and helped the cast and crew find accommodation in the area, described it as completely transformed. “It’s been very positive,” he said.
Vincent Kidd, who runs a hotel on Valentia Island, also expressed his gratitude for the spotlight.
“You’d want an astronomical budget to do what “Star Wars” did for the Wild Atlantic Way and area in particular,” he told the PA.
“The Skelligs now will always be synonymous with “Star Wars”.