State Tourism Office expects economic boost from ‘Hunger Games’ fans

North Carolina is poised to reap major dividends from tourism with the March 23 opening of “The Hunger Games,” the highest-profile movie ever made in the state.

Shot on locations and sets from Concord to Barnardsville, the movie is based on the opening novel in a wildly popular futuristic trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The North Carolina Tourism Office sees the same potential for “The Hunger Games.”

“The filmmakers spent more than $60 million in North Carolina, and now fans are eager to come see the locations and go to the restaurants, neighborhoods and other places the stars visited,” said Keith Crisco, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. “The money they spend here will be a second payoff for taxpayers.”

Newly developed travel tools, accessed at will guide visitors to film sites, star hangouts, and places that connect with the characters and other elements of the novel.

The official audit is underway to determine what the filmmakers spent in North Carolina on wages and compensation, goods and services, living expenses and other costs that qualify under the incentive program. The figure will exceed $60 million.

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