IT is the smash hit TV sensation that ensures a tourist boost for its filming locations.

Now the makers of the Game of Thrones prequel have been scouting for possible spots to film the hotly-anticipated new series on the Isle of Skye.

Officials want to use the rugged backdrop for scenes in The Long Night, set 10,000 years before the original fantasy series.

They visited Skye to seek out beauty spots that would be ideal for use as action and scenery.

Earlier this month, it was announced that work on the spin-off will begin in Belfast's Titanic Quarter Film Studios in October, the same venue used to shoot many of the indoor scenes for Game Of Thrones over its eight series, while outdoor locations around Northern Ireland have also featured.

Fans of the must-see TV drama have already created online maps featuring every location used for Game of thrones, including Doune Castle which was used for the pilot episode. Scenes have been shot around the world, including in Iceland, Malta and Croatia and all countries have benefited from a rise in tourist numbers thanks to the programme's global following.

A record 2.1million overseas tourists visited Northern Ireland in 2016, upping revenue from this sector by 12 per cent, according to Tourism Ireland figures.

Belfast Airport also had the highest passenger increase of any destination, with 388,486 more customers in 2016 than the previous year.

HBO have green-lit five prequel series and commissioned a pilot episode.

A source said: "This would be a massive development for Skye. Game Of Thrones had a huge impact on tourist numbers wherever it was filmed. The same will most likely apply to the prequel. Skye is definitely a potential venue for the The Long Night.

"The show is set 10,000 years before Game Of Thrones so the makers need new ideas and locations. Skye ticks a lot of boxes for them."

Filming of the eighth and final series of Game Of Thrones finished earlier this month in Northern Ireland.

Most of the show has been filmed there since 2010.

The scenery of Skye has proved increasingly popular for movie and TV producers in recent years, with films shot there including 2008's Made of Honour, featuring Kevin McKidd and Patrick Dempsey; the Alien sequel Prometheus in 2012, Macbeth with Michael Fassbender in 2015 and Roald Dahl's The BFG in 2016.

Blockbusters Transformers: The Last Knight and King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword both shot there last year.

The prequel series is being created by Game Of Thrones author George RR Martin.

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said: "Film tourism in general is booming in Scotland in recent years with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Avengers: Infinity War on the big screen and Outlander continuing to prove its popularity on the small screen.

"VisitScotland work closely with Scotland's film location offices as productions shot here not only boost the local economy during filming but also provide a shop window for the country's amazing landscapes and can have long-lasting effects for tourism."