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Belfast Bullitt Hotel takes aim at tourist market

By Staff Reporter

Belfast's newest hotel opens on Saturday - as owner Bill Wolsey warns that introducing visas for visitors to Northern Ireland following Brexit would be detrimental to tourism.

The £7m Bullitt Hotel on Church Lane features three bars, including the ski-themed Baltic bar, 43 bedrooms, an espresso bar, a 58-seater restaurant known as Taylor and Clay and a private events space.

Its bedrooms are doubles ranging from "comfy" to "spacious" in size, with super-fast WiFi, smart TVs and a daily "breakfast bag" with orange juice, granola and fruit.

It is the latest addition to the Beannchor Group's portfolio, which also includes luxury hotel The Merchant, the Little Wing chain of pizza restaurants, and a string of bars and pubs.

But Mr Wolsey - who was opposed to Brexit - said the vote to leave the EU presented a risk to the industry.

"No matter how bad things get, we are very good operators and we have been successful in some of the darkest days of the Troubles here and nothing can be that bad," he added.

"But this has been a self-inflicted wound, which is thoroughly depressing."

Movement of people between the EU and UK is one of the key areas up for negotiation when talks are triggered next year.

Mr Wolsey said: "If visas are introduced for the UK, that would be hugely detrimental to our business because at the minute we play second fiddle to Dublin, and if a tourist has to do one extra thing they will not do it."

The hotel is aiming for a four-star ranking.

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