Titanic Belfast, officially the World’s Leading Visitor Attraction, has reported that the month of August was the busiest month the attraction has ever seen, with over 5,000 people visiting on one day alone (August 6th). Year to date visitor numbers also reveal the attraction is experiencing its busiest year yet with an overall 22% increase in footfall.
Since opening in 2012, Titanic Belfast has welcomed more than 4 million people from over 145 countries. Growth has increased year-on-year in all key markets and to date 2017 has seen a 31% increase in visitors from England and 16% from the Republic of Ireland.
Speaking about the reasons for the bumper year, Titanic Belfast’s Chief Executive, Tim Husbands MBE, said: ‘The sharp drop in the value of the pound since last summer’s Brexit vote has made Northern Ireland a more attractive destination. As well as a significant rise in visitors from the Republic of Ireland, we’ve also benefitted from increases in visitors from the UK and local visitors who are holidaying more at home and are looking for a unique experience in a reassuring environment. Northern Ireland also offers great value for overseas visitors, particularly from high-spending long-haul markets including China and the US.’
He continued: ‘The increase in ROI visitors is reflective of the strong growth in Republic of Ireland trips and spend in Northern Ireland generally. Being named the World’s Leading Visitor Attraction at the World Travel Awards has drawn additional visitors to Titanic Belfast this year, many of whom combined their stay with a visit to the Game of Thrones filming locations and also a trip to natural attractions like the Giant’s Causeway. We’ve also seen a huge increase in cruise ships into Belfast, with a record breaking number of ships docking in Northern Ireland this year. ’
Terence Brannigan, Tourism NI Chairman commented; ‘Titanic Belfast has been transformative for tourism in Northern Ireland and its recent phenomenal performance is proof that the attraction is leading the way in attracting visitors from the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and around the globe. Titanic Belfast has been an important catalyst for investment in tourism across Belfast and beyond and has helped deliver the impressive levels of hotel growth that we are seeing today across the city. I commend the work of Tim Husbands and his team and congratulate them on setting such high standards for our industry’.
Over the years, Titanic Belfast has served as an anchor project for the wider development of Titanic Quarter, being a catalyst for further hotel, commercial and residential developments. This month, The Titanic Hotel Belfast was opened on the site of the Drawing Offices of the original Harland & Wolff headquarters situated adjacent to Titanic Belfast.
Titanic Belfast is an iconic six-floor building featuring nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the City and people that made her. The building houses temporary exhibits, a banqueting suite, education and community facilities, catering and retail space, and a basement car park.
In the first three years alone, it generated £105 million in additional tourism spend for the Northern Ireland economy, sustaining around 893 jobs each year in the wider economy.
Since opening in 2012, it has also hosted over 1,500 business and leisure events including Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee lunch, G8 Summit Reception, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, The World Police & Fire Games International Conference, World Conference of Credit Unions, Giro D’Italia and MTV Sounds.
It has also welcomed many VIP guests including Her Majesty The Queen, Presidential candidate and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, TITANIC director James Cameron, the discoverer of the wreckage of RMS Titanic, Dr Robert Ballard and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. For more information, visit www.titanicbelfast.com.
Photo Caption: Terence Brannigan, Tourism NI Chairman and Titanic Belfast Chief Executive Tim Husbands MBE are pictured following what was the busiest month the attraction has ever seen, with over 5,000 people visiting on one day alone (August 6th). Year to date visitor numbers also reveal the attraction is experiencing its busiest year yet with an overall 22% increase in footfall.