Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Belfast emerges as tourism hotspot

The Titanic Visitor centre in Belfast helped the city make a list of Europe's top 10 fastest growing travel destinations

Belfast has made a list of Europe's top 10 fastest-growing travel destinations.

The dock where the Titanic was built is among must-see attractions listed by influential travellers' website TripAdvisor.

The company recognised destinations that have seen the greatest increase in positive feedback and interest from travellers year on year. The city was ranked eighth in the table, with Kiev in Ukraine finishing top.

TripAdvisor's website said: "Belfast has grown into a cosmopolitan destination and become a popular weekend break spot. With feelings of optimism and life pulsing through the city, Belfast makes for an energising getaway."

The city marked the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic earlier this year with the opening of a visitors' centre overlooking the harbour and a series of special commemorative events. Other places noted by TripAdvisor include the Ulster Folk Museum and Belfast Cathedral.

The website highlighted Belfast's "award-winning" restaurants, bars, clubs, galleries and theatres. Other UK destinations in the European top 10 included Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow.

Gerry Lennon, chief executive of Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau (BVCB), said: "Belfast now has an excellent competitive position across the UK, Ireland and Europe as a must-visit destination of distinction and this new award demonstrates that yet again.

"We are delighted to be included among the destinations on the rise in Europe and the UK in what has been a momentous and 'Titanic' year for the city."

He said there had been significant investment and the development of existing and new tourist attractions such as Titanic Belfast, the MAC, the Lyric Theatre, and the Ulster Museum and headline-grabbing global events such as the MTV European Music Awards.

He added the city is attracting and welcoming increasing numbers of visitors drawn by a mixture of curiosity and desire to see the city's unique experiences.

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