Titanic Belfast qualifies as star attraction for tourists
Visitor experience generates £160m in revenue for NI economy, claims chief executive
The Titanic Experience in Belfast. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
Visitors to these shores increasingly have a trip to Titanic Belfast top of their must-see list, according to the chief executive of the visitor attraction.
Judith Owens believes the attraction, which has welcomed in excess of 840,000 guests over the past 12 months, has changed the way Belfast is thought of as a destination.
“Since we opened in 2012, we have continued to go from strength to strength, having now welcomed over 4.4 million visitors from over 145 different countries. Now over 85 per cent of our visitors are coming from outside Northern Ireland and one-in-five people are now visiting Ireland because of Titanic Belfast,” she said.
Ms Owens said the attraction is a “shining example” of how a significant tourism investment can be a catalyst for economic growth.
The Titanic visitor experience has generated an estimated £160 million (€185 million) in tourism revenue for the North’s economy, according to Ms Owens. The latest figures show a 13 per cent year-on-year increase. And according to Tourism NI the attraction has helped boost visitors numbers staying overnight in the city.
Since the Belfast Agreement was signed in 1998, overnight stays in the city have increased from 500,000 a year to more than 1.5 million and tourism spend has risen to £334 million from £84 million.
Titanic won the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction two years ago at the World Travel Awards.