Titanic Belfast beats Europe’s finest as top tourist attraction

World Travel Awards: Venue beats Eiffel Tower, Acropolis and Rome’s Colosseum

Titanic Belfast has been named Europe’s leading visitor attraction at the World Travel Awards. File photograph: David Moir/Reuters

Titanic Belfast has been named Europe’s leading visitor attraction at the World Travel Awards. File photograph: David Moir/Reuters

 

Titanic Belfast has been named Europe’s leading visitor attraction at the World Travel Awards.

The venue, in the Titanic Quarter of the city, beat the Eiffel Tower in France, the La Sagrada Familia in Spain, the Acropolis in Athens, Buckingham Palace in England, Ribeira do Porto in Portugal, the Roman Colosseum in Italy and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin to pick up the award at a ceremony in Sardinia on Sunday night.

It is the first time a Northern Ireland attraction has won the award at the ceremony, nicknamed the Tourism Oscars, in its 23-year history, and the second year in a row an Irish attraction has won the accolade.

The aforementioned Guinness Storehouse won the title last year.

The visitor attraction in east Belfast opened in 2012 and has welcomed more than 3 million people in that time.

Titanic Belfast chief executive Tim Husbands MBE said the team was thrilled to be named Europe’s Best Tourist Attraction and to be bringing the award back to Ireland.

‘True honour’

“After only four years in operation, to be recognised and beat off stiff competition from Europe’s most iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Roman Colosseum is a true honour,” he said.

The Executive Office in the North issued statements praising the venue’s success.

DUP First Minister Arlene Foster said: “Titanic Belfast is now a global brand which has put Northern Ireland on the map for all the right reasons - so last night’s official confirmation that it is now Europe’s leading tourist attraction is well deserved.”

Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described is as “a phenomenal achievement”. “The story of the Titanic is known around the globe and it is only right and proper we have a world-class visitor attraction to match,” he added.

Titanic Belfast, which was also recently included on Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist of 500 of the world’s most striking locations, has received more than 11,000 reviews on the Trip Advisor website in the last four years.

Of these reviews, about 500 visitors have rated their experience as “poor” or “terrible”, with some people suggesting the tickets are “overpriced” or “not value for money”.

Titanic Belfast now goes forward to the Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2016 in the Maldives on December 12th, where it is in the running for the title of World’s Leading Attraction.