- Spring/summer 2018 figures up 8pc year-on-year
- Visitors from 145 countries
- 771,038 visited in 2017
- Ireland’s 8th biggest visitor attraction
Titanic Belfast is in line for 832,000 visitors in 2018 after attracting its five millionth visitor, Rita Lynch, and its busiest first two quarters of a year. Numbers visiting the Belfast attraction rose by 8pc on last year this spring and summer, specifically from international markets, including North America, mainland Europe and China.
Rita Lynch, who is from Sligo, had travelled to Belfast for the first time since 1983 specifically to experience Titanic Belfast. Opened in 2012, Titanic Belfast’s visitor numbers rose from 596,777 in 2013 to 771,038 in 2017 (the TourismNI Ireland figure for Titanic in 2017 was 760,362). Number dipped between 2014 and 2015 from 644,792 to 621,521. Titanic claims the centre generates £160m in additional tourism spend for the economy.
Titanic Belfast Chief Executive, Judith Owens, said: “Thanks to our staff, local and trade support, we continue to go from strength to strength and our appeal grows nationally and internationally. We are proud to see how popular Belfast and Northern Ireland is becoming as a tourist destination, as well as the enduring worldwide appeal of the Titanic story.”
John McGrillen, Tourism NI’s Chief Executive, said: “At Tourism NI, we are proud of the key role we played in the development of Titanic Belfast. It has been a catalyst for wider economic growth in Belfast and has truly changed Northern Ireland’s tourism footprint. 2017 was another record year for tourism as we welcomed almost 5 million visitors to Northern Ireland and signs for 2018 bode well.”
Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Titanic Foundation Limited, the charity that owns the iconic building, said, “Titanic Belfast has surpassed all expectations as a driver for Northern Ireland tourism. More importantly, it continues to play a special role in preserving a significant part of Belfast’s maritime heritage, keeping the Titanic story alive for future generations in an innovative way.”
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