Major firms in talks over new hotels in Titanic Quarter
Major hotel operators could add more than 500 new rooms to Belfast's Titanic Quarter with the development of three new hotels.
Planning permission has been granted for the hotels in the vicinity of the city's flagship waterside tourist attraction, Titanic Belfast.
The largest is for a 244-bedroom location.
The other successful applications also include 155 and 120-room hotels - both in the vicinity of Titanic Belfast.
It could increase the number of beds in the city by a fifth and see hundreds of jobs being created once building gets under way.
The successful planning applications for the developments were made by Titanic Quarter Ltd - with the new hotels set to range from three to five-star hotels.
And while Titanic Quarter could not comment on the details of hotel firms involved in talks, it's understood a number of major international companies are in early discussions to take on the three hotel sites.
Progress has already been made on a flagship 84-bedroom four-star 'boutique' development, based at the old Harland & Wolff headquarters and Drawing Offices.
The new development could be worth around £27m.
It's understood Titanic Quarter parent company Harcourt Developments - which operates the Redcastle and Lough Eske resorts - could be involved in the new project.
A name for the new project has yet to be confirmed.
The Titanic Quarter currently only has one hotel - a Premier Inn located close to the Odyssey Arena on the Queens Road.
A spokesman for Titanic Quarter Ltd said: "With the enormous success of Titanic Belfast and expanding business activity within Titanic Quarter, there are long-term plans to develop another four hotels within the development. These are expected to range between three and five-star with interest being sought from local, national and international operators."
Gerry Lennon, the chief executive of Visit Belfast, said the progress on further expansion for Belfast's hotel industry was welcome news.
"We welcome the news of the proposed hotel developments within the ever expanding Titanic Quarter," he said.
He added it was "critical that we see further investment in the commercial accommodation sector to meet the growing demand for overnight stays and particular hotel rooms as well as achieve the city's ambition of doubling tourism revenue by 2020".