It's just nine months since it opened its doors — but Titanic Belfast has already steamed ahead in popularity among tourists coming to Northern Ireland.
The world-class attraction has become our most visited tourist attraction after bringing in more than 650,000 people in nine months alone — far beyond expectations.
Top tourist spots such as the Giant’s Causeway and the Ulster Museum have been left in the wake of the phenomenal success of the Titanic visitor experience since it opened for business in Belfast last March.
The team at Titanic Belfast are celebrating after new figures showed more than 650,000 visitors passed through its doors in nine months.
The world’s largest and most comprehensive Titanic visitor experience also saw a significant rise in popularity during December, forcing staff to put up the ‘sold out’ signs during the final days of 2012.
Over 33,000 visited Titanic Belfast during December. And that figure doesn’t include the 10,000 people who came to the Victorian Father Christmas experience.
Between December 27 and January 6, more than 23,000 people headed along to the Titanic Quarter venue to marvel at the exhibits and learn about all things linked to the Belfast-built ship which sank on its maiden voyage in 1912. Having surpassed all visitor number expectations, the arrival of 650,000 visitors since opening on March 31 has cemented Titanic Belfast as the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland and one of the top attractions in Ireland.
To put the numbers in context, according to the most recent government figures, the Dundonald Ice Bowl is Northern Ireland’s most popular visitor attraction (with 601,000 visitors in 2011), followed by the Giant’s Causeway (533,000 in 2011) and Belfast’s Ulster Museum (471,000 visitors). The figures for the Giant’s Causeway don’t include an upsurge in visitors since the National Trust opened a new visitor centre.
Tim Husbands, Titanic Belfast chief executive, said visitor numbers over the festive period exceeded all expectations.
He added that it showed that Titanic Belfast is an all-year round attraction for domestic and international visitors.
“This was our first Christmas and also the first time we hosted a Christmas experience at Titanic Belfast, and almost 10,000 people visited our Victorian Christmas street scene to meet a traditional Father Christmas, and be transported back in time to a magical Christmas period,” Mr Husbands said.
“It’s a great and positive news story for Belfast and Northern Ireland tourism.”
The Titanic boss said the exhibition has been refreshed with new additions, such as props from James Cameron’s Titanic movie, and the Titanic Inquiry Plan.
“We have also found that visitors are coming back to it on more than one occasion.”
For more information visit www.titanicbelfast.com