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There’s not enough for tourists to do in Northern Ireland, says Sinn Fein MLA

By Noel McAdam

Published 03/05/2012

The sunrise over The Princess Victoria Monument, Larne. Submitted by Brian McCullough
The sunrise over The Princess Victoria Monument, Larne. Submitted by Brian McCullough
The sunrise over Chaine Memorial Tower, Larne. Submitted by Brian McCullough
Millbay, Kilkeel on a frosty morning in April 2012. Submitted by Suzanne Wilson, Sherwood Park, Alberta
Mourne sheep. April 4 2012. Submitted by Paul Wilson, Edmonton.
The view from the 16th tee at the Riverside golf course in Portstewart. Submitted by Aidan Donnelly
Setting sun at the harbour. Submitted by Dean Rovira, Bangor
Sunset near Ballycastle, Wed 18 April 2012. Submitted by Eileen Christie, Ballycastle.
Looking down on Downhill Beach and Benone, from the Mussenden Temple, on a sunny March afternoon. Submitted by Rory Dunne
Sunny morning in Ballycastle. Submitted by Anne Kelly
Lough Foyle by night. The constellation Orion is on the left and the the planets Venus and Jupiter as well as the (overexposed) Moon on the right. The lights of Derry and Donegal form the backdrop and Myroe in near darkness is in the foreground. Submitted by Jochen Lueg
Port Moon, Causeway Coast. 14.04.2012. Submitted by Jonathan Thompson
Mussenden Temple as seen from Portstewart Strand. Submitted by Jonathan Thompson
Dawn at Woodburn middle dam. Submitted by Davy Wight
Castleward Estate. Submitted by John Johnston, Jordanstown
Carrickfergus castle. Submitted by Davy Wight
My Beauty Spot is the view of the sun setting over the Donegal Hills every night from my bedroom window. Estelle Russell [Limavady] April 2012
Low tide at Warrenpoint. Submitted by Erik Wikström, Umeå
Bloody bridge in the mourne mountains. Submitted by Alan McDaid
The Silent Valley from the summit of Slieve Bernagh in the Mournes , Sept. 11. Submitted by Wilfred Swain
Lord Drake overlooking Drain's Bay from the Black Arch shoreline, County Antrim. Submitted by Gareth Kirk
View from Dundrum Castle towards the Mourne Mountains. Submitted by Terry Fitzpatrick, Dundrum
Ballycastle Forest and surrounding area. Submitted by Anne Kelly
Sails in the sunset. Submitted by Evelyn McCullough , Portstewart
Sunset on Portrush. Photo by Rex Mercer
Arcadia, Portrush. Photo by Rex Mercer
The East Strand, Portrush. Photo by Rex Mercer
White Rocks, Portrush. Photo by Rex Mercer
Sunrise in Whitehead. Photo by Joanna Kempiak
Views of Newry and south Armagh. Photos by Ferdia Burns, Gap o The North Walking Club
Views of Newry and south Armagh. Photos by Ferdia Burns, Gap o The North Walking Club
Views of Newry and south Armagh. Photos by Ferdia Burns, Gap o The North Walking Club
Kenbane Castle, Antrim Coast. 2012. Submitted by Lindsay Allen
A Peak and A Promise, Slieve Donard. Submitted by kelvin
Mournes at dusk. The Mourne Mountains from St John's Point. 2012. Submitted by Kelvin
Slemish in the Winter. 2012. Submitted by Davy Wright, Carrickfergus
Rainbow halo at McArts Fort, Cavehill. 2012. Submitted by alronacnud
Early morning wakeup at Ballyhaskin, Millisle. 2012. Submitted by tracey705
Ballycastle at sunrise. Submitted By Anne Kelly. February 2012
Rathlin Ferry and a happy duck on the Margy River. Submitted By Anne Kelly. February 2012
Fairhead beach .Submitted by Anne Kelly. February 2012
Ballycastle beach. Submitted by Anne Kelly. February 2012
Sunrise over Knocklayde. Submitted by Anne Kelly. February 2012
The Dark Hedges, Stranocum. Submitted by Shauna Mc Fall. February 2012
The Dark Hedges, Stranocum. Submitted by Shauna Mc Fall. February 2012
Friendly donkey near Armoy. Submitted by Anne Kelly. February 2012
View over Glenarm and the Antrim coast . Submitted by Mark Crothers, Carrickfergus
Rathlin Ferry. Photo by Anne Kelly
Ballintoy Church. Submitted by Anne Kelly
Ballycastle. Submitted by Anne Kelly
View over the Antrim hills/plateau close to Glenarm. Submitted by Mark Crothers, Carrickfergus
Sunset over Lough Foyle - Submitted by Jochen Lueg, Limavady
Bishops Road, Limavady - byJochen Lueg, Limavady
The Roe Mouth - Submitted by Jochen Lueg, Limavady
Grazing on Benevenagh - Submitted by Jochen Lueg, Limavady
Craigavon Lakes - by Jeremy Clifford Craigavon
The black swan, Craigavon Lakes - by Jeremy Clifford Craigavon
Sunny September Day. View West of Torr Head. Submitted by Ruzaffa
Most memorable and exhilarating visitor attraction in N. Ireland . Carrick-a-Rede ropebridge, CausewayCoast. Submitted by Ruzaffa
Sun Trying to break through over Moville. Janice Castlerock Beach
A writer finding her inspiration. Antrim Glens. Submitted by Ruzaffa
Sunny September Day. Torr Head Submitted by Ruzaffa
Sunny September Day. Antrim Coastline
Sunny September Day. North Antrim Coastline. Submitted by Ruzaffa
Sunny September Day. Cushendun Beach
Sunny September Day. Glenariff Glen
Straid hill plantation. Submitted by Sam
Sunny September Day. Sunlight on the Mist in Glenariff
Sunny September Day. Couple enjoying the sunshine on the North Antrim Coastline
In search of Narnia, Silent Valley, County Down
Autumn Saturday, The Mournes from Dundrum Castle
Autumn Saturday, Slieve Gallion looking down on Draperstown
In search of Narnia, Silent Valley, County Down
Autumn Saturday, The Mournes from Murlough Bay
Ballintoy. Submitted by Shauna Mc Fall
Rainbow over Fallcarragh, submitted by Julie Wilkinson, Bangor
Sunset view from Ballintoy. Submitted by Julie Wilkinson, Bangor
Sunflowers at Glenveagh Castle Garden, submitted by Julie Wilkinson, Bangor
Portstewart Sunset. Submitted by Alan Beggs Portstewart
Towpath, River Lagan, 26th June 2011 . Submitted by Monica Vitorino, Belfast
The Argory, Moy. Submitted by Alan, Brussels
Quite evening in cushendun harbour. Submitted by Jack Todd
Glens of Antrim. Submitted by Alan, Brussels
The Dark Hedges near Armoy
Larrybann and Sheep Island near Ballintoy
Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge
Arcadia, Portrush 2011. Submitted by Colin McNally, Holywood
Inishmacsaint Island, Lough Erne. Submitted by Cyril Donaldson, Moira
Car ferry crossing as seen from barred window within the elevated Old Windmill. 'The Narrows' between Strangford & Portaferry
Cushendun beach. Submitted by Jack Todd
Restful day in Ballintoy. Submitted by John McKegney
In Belfast City Hall. Submitted by Gary Henderson, Spartanburg, S. C. USA
North Antrim Coast. Submitted by S McCaughey, Lisburn
Night approaches in Portrush
Portavoe resevoir submitted by Melanie Thompson. July 2011 *** Local Caption *** Portavoe resevoir submitted by Melanie Thompson. July 2011
Ballycastle sunset, by Anne Kelly July 2011
Mallard and duckings, River Lagan, by Melanie Thompson. July 2011
East Strand Portrush, submitted by Neil. July 2011
Lough Salt, Donegal, submitted by Melanie Thompson. July 2011
Kite surfing over Brown's Bay, Islandmagee on Saturday 23rd July. Submitted by Henry Cooper, Newtownabbey
Antrim Coastline. Submitted by Charlie McQuillan
Sunshine Horizon, County Antrim. Submitted by Charlie McQuillan
Excuse me, where's the river Bann? Submitted by Evelyn McCullough, Portstewart Strand
Whiterocks from Dunluce Castle. Submitted by Allyson Hutton - Portballintrae
Surfing paradise at the Whiterocks. Submitted by Allyson Hutton - Portballintrae
Dreaming spires, Armagh. Submitted by Maureen Robinson, Belfast.
Slemish Mountain. Submitted by Robert Moffett, Antrim
Whitehead Viewed From The Gobbins. Submitted by Norman Lindsay, Whitehead
White Rocks. Submitted by Roy Goudie
Woodburn Dams. Submitted by Roy Goudie
Mirrored image in Lough Neagh. Submitted by Norman Lindsay
St Johns Lighthouse, Co.Down. Submitted by Steven Hooks, Co.Armagh
Contented - the shore of Lough Neagh. Submitted by David McFarland, Dollingstown
Early morning, Shaws Bridge, Belfast.
Sunset Lough Swilly. Submitted by John Toland, Killea, Derry
Sunset Portmuck, Co Antrim by Joan Wilson
Causeway Stones by Michael McLean, Glengormley
Ballydorn lightship near Killinchy by J.W.Kane Portadown
Most memorable visitor experience - crossing 'Carrick-a-Rede' rope bridge by Trevor Moffet - Newtownards. July 2011
Skerries, Portrush by Robin Harper, Randalstown
Scrabo by Michael Graham, Bangor
The Dee Lighthouse by Michael Graham, Bangor
Bangor Marina in the Mist by Michael Graham, Bangor
Antrim Coast by Dennis Carter
Scarva Village in bloom by J.W.Kane Portadown
Napoleons Nose, CaveHill by Michael McLean, Glengormley
The Mournes by Victor McCabe July 2011
Ballycastle bird and boat. Submitted by Anne Kelly. July 2011
Reflections of Craigavon lakes. Submitted by Jeremy Clifford.
Ballycastle Beach. Submitted by Anne Kelly. July 2011
Ballintoy Harbour. Submitted by Anne Kelly
Causeway Face - submitted by David and Alison Flanagan. July 2011
Damselfly - submitted by David and Alison Flanagan. July 2011
Errigal Donegal - submitted by David and Alison Flanagan. July 2011
Beach Patterns Castlerock - submitted by David and Alison Flanagan. July 2011
Noctilucent cloud display over Belfast - July 2011. Submitted by Andy McCrea, Carnalea, Bangor
Sunrise in Cushendun. Submitted by Seamus Fyfe. July 2011
Watertop Farm, Ballycastle - submitted by Kirsty McMurray. July 2011
Sunrise in Craigavon. Submitted by Jeremy Clifford. July 2011
Historic ruins, Ballyclog Co Tyrone. Submitted by James, Melbourne, Victoria
Beauty in Colour, Hillsborough Forest. Submitted by Gerard Morgan.
Ballintoy Harbour, Aug 2010. Submitted by Robin Jeffers, Perth, W Aust
Spring Splash at Ballintoy Harbour. Submitted by Norman Lindsay
Glenoe Waterfall in May. Submitted by Norman Lindsay
White Rocks. Submitted by Roy Goudie
Woodburn Dams. Submitted by Roy Goudie
Divis & Black Mountain. Submitted by Keith J. Reilly
Scarva. Submitted by David Berry
Sunset over Portballintrae. Submitted by Pearl Davison, San Diego, California
Waves at Portballintrae. Submitted by Pearl Davison, San Diego, California
Waves at Portballintrae. Submitted by Pearl Davison, San Diego, California
Waves at Portballintrae. Submitted by Pearl Davison, San Diego, California
Beaghmore Stone Circles. Submitted by Doris
Castleward. Submitted by Lesley Martin, Banbridge
Downpatrick Cathedral from Inch Abbey. Submitted by Lesley Martin, Banbridge
Newcastle. Submitted by Brian, Craigavon
Murlough. Submitted by Brian, Craigavon
Carrickfergus Castle. Submitted by Vic Anton, Alpharetta, GA USA
Sperrin Mountains, Co Tyrone. Submitted by Colin Hamilton, Belfast
Dunlewey Church Donegal. Submitted by Donal McCullaugh from Banbridge
The Giants Ring, South Belfast. Submitted By Paul Muldoon
Dawn at Corbet Lake Banbridge. Submitted by Donal McCullaugh from Banbridge
Dusk at Kernan Lake Banbridge. Submitted by Donal McCullaugh from Banbridge
White Park Bay taken by Alan Warnock from his microlight aircraft
Sunrise in Banbridge on 20/09/2010 at 6.59am. Submitted by Stephen Bickerstaff
Ben Crom Reservoir from the summit of Slieve Corragh in the Mournes. Taken and submitted by Donal McCullaugh from Banbridge.
Silent Valley Reservoir from the summit of Slieve Binnian in the Mournes. Taken and submitted by Donal McCullaugh from Banbridge.
The Trees. Submitted by David Berry, Gilford
Rossknowlagh beach, Co Donegal. Submitted by Thomas Brazil
Mt Errigal, Donegal. March 2011. Submitted by Brendan
Belfast Telegraph readers' Ulster Beauty Spots Gallery
Rosemary Cunningham Annalong - Spelga at twilight
Spelga in the mist - by Rosemarry Cunningham
Sunflowers near Moira. Submitted by Robert Wilkinson
Crawfordsburn Country Park. Most people guessed this was the South of France. Submitted by David Scott, Manchester
Readers' Pictures: Ulster beauty spots
Bonamargy Friary, Ballycastle. Submitted by Garry Steele, Bangor
Portstewart Sunset. Submitted by Alan Beggs
Botanic Gardens. Submitted by Geraldine Wilson (Western Australia but just back to NI for holiday)
Craigavon Bridge,Derry. Submitted by Frank Fleming - from Derry
Readers' Pictures: Ulster beauty spots
View form Dundrum Castle
Boa Island Fermanagh - sunset jetty. Submitted by DjTrev
Bunbeg Bliss. Submitted by Brian Morton / Straid
Room with a view - Dunlewey. Submitted by Brian Morton / Straid
Cliffs, Portrush - Carrick a Rede
Mountstewart. Submitted by Geraldine Wilson - Western Australia
Carrickfergus Marina. Submitted by Barbara Downie
Craigavon lakes. Submitted by Jeremy Clifford
Upper Lough Erne. Submitted by Paul Kennedy
Red bay. Submitted by Sian Johnston, Belfast
Black and White Beach, Ballywalter
The beautiful 'Glens of Antrim'. Submitted by Linda King - Kells
The lake at Mountstewart. Submitted by Geraldine Wilson (Western Australia but just back to NI for holiday)
"Anyone For Tennis?" Portstewart Strand
The Gardens at MOunt Stewart
Belfast Castle. Submitted by Jane McLaughlin Newtownabbey
Birds enjoying the morning sun at Wildlife Park, Carrickfergus
A sunny sail at the Causeway. Submitted by Michelle Myles Maghaberry
Narrow Water Keep, Nr Warrenpoint. Submitted by Jennifer Campbell, Newry
View of the Mournes over Barley fields, taken on one of my favourite walks. Submiited by Bernadette Daly, Acton, Poyntzpass
Summer at Crawfordsburn Country Park. Submitted by Artur Pawlowski
Coast Rd Aug 2003. Loney NJ USA
Glenariff Aug 2003. Loney NJ USA
Framed at Glenarm Harbour. Submitted by Michelle Myles Maghaberry
Donaghadee Lighthouse at Sunrise. Submitted by Adam Shaw, Bangor
Killynether Forest toward Belfast. Submitted by Robert.Brampton.Canada
Waterfall at Glenariffe. Submitted by Garry Steele, Bangor
Greyabbey. Submitted by Garry Steele, Bangor
Whitepark bay.co.Antrim. Submitted by Rod Mulholland.Tobermore
Calm After the Storm, Rathlin Harbour. Submitted by Ken Wooster
Scrabo Tower, Newtownards on a stormy saturday. Submitted by Paul Higginson
Mourne March 2010. Submitted by Joe Reid, Castlewellan
Stepping Stones, Tollymore Forest Park. Submitted by Nigel Henderson, Holywood
Waterfalls,Benburb. Submitted by John Shaw,Lisburn
Blackwater Falls, benburb. Submitted by Alan Davison
City Hall, Belfast. Submitted by Alan Davison
Walls and Whins, Silent Valley. Submitted by Alan Davison
Fishing Boats, Kilkeel. Submitted by Alan Davison
Shimna River, Newcastle. Submitted by Alan Davison
Reflection of City Hall, Belfast. Submitted by Roisin Hall, Belfast
View at Lower Lough Erne on a calm May morning. Submitted by George Glover, Ballinderry.
H & W, Belfast Shipyard.
Bonamargy Abbey, Co Antrim. Submitted by Paul Morrison, Ft.Myers Florida USA
Donaghadee. Submitted by Piotr Palys, Belfast
Ulster-American Folk Park, Omagh. Submitted by Piotr Palys, Belfast
Mourn mountains. Submitted by Anisha, Newcastle
Hillsborough Forest Park. Submitted by John Shaw Lisburn
Sunset over castlerock beach. Submitted by John Shaw Lisburn
Beautiful without colour, Belfast Zoo. Submitted by Julie Mullin
Portstewart strand, Co Antrim. Submitted by Gordon Esler, London
Sunrise at high tide, Islandhill, Comber. Submitted by Nigel Cameron
St. John's Lighthouse, Co Down. Submitted by Steven Hooks
Oxford Island Jetty. Submitted by Steven Hooks
he view from Dundrum Castle on a sunny day, Dundrum, County Down
The wood around Shane's Castle in spring
Cloudy Scrabo Sunset over Strangford Lough. Submitted by Nigel Cameron, Comber
View from the maze at Castlewellan
A quiet tree-lined road in North Antrim.
A reconstruction of St. Patrick's first church, Saul, County Down
little chapel at Saltwaterbrig, County Down
Hannah's Close, Kilkeel
Slieve Donard in Newcastle. Submitted by Andrew McElroy
Stonebridge, Mountjoy West, Omagh, Co Tyrone
Sunset looking towards the Skerries and Inishowen Penisula. Portballintrae
Where are the squirrels? Submitted by Gerry Mullan O Cahan's Rock Limavady
The Beautiful Front of Portush. Submitted by Ruth McCormick from Conlig
Giants Causeway - May 2008. Submitted by Janet Marie Smekar
Red Sails Festival Portstewart. Submitted by Michael Bradley - Portstewart
Glens of Antrim. Picture by Denis McKee, Toronto, Canada
Valley near Derry. Submitted by Denis McKee, Toronto, Canada
Colerain Bridge At night. Submitted by Michael Bradley - Portstewart
Swan overlooking Blacklion, taken kayaking early morning Lough McNean. Submitted by Lough McNean, Co Fermanagh
The Bell overflow, Silent Valley
Hobbit's abode, Mountains of Mourne. Submitted by Judith McGinness, Geelong, Australia
County Armagh, beauty of the Apple Blossom.
View to mournes from slieve croob. Submitted by Sarah Scott hillsborough
VIEW OVER STRANGFORD LOUGH. SUBMITTED BY JOYCE DUNLOP NEWTOWNARDS
Near benbradagh, Sperrin mountains. Submited by John Herron, Stroke City
HELENS TOWER ULSTER WAY BANGOR. SUBMITTED BY JOYCE DUNLOP NEWTOWNARDS
Sunset over Belfast Lough from Bangor. Submitted by Paul Lawther Bangor
Mountstewart Gardens. Submitted by Joyce Dunlop Newtownards
Little castle in Ardglass harbour. Submitted by Peter Riordan. Coconut creek. Florida
River moyola tobermore. Submitted by Rod mulholand.Tobermore
Mount Stewart serenity. Submitted by Awynne in Arkansas
Belfast Zoo. Submitted by Donna Quinn, Derry
Gransha Woods, Derry. Submitted Donna Quinn, Derry
Roe Valley Country Park, Limavady. Submitted by Donna Quinn, Derry
Carrick-a-Rede. Submitted by Sheena Corlett
Silent Valley. Submited By Colin R
View of Whitepark Bay, Antrim Coast. Submitted by Paul Jenkins, Ontario, Canada
Antrim Coast, near Torr Head. Submitted by Paul Jenkins, Ontario, Canada
Benone beach looking towards downhill. Submitted by Ian Graham
Scrabo tower. Submitted by Ian Graham
The rope bridge. Submitted by Evelyn McCullough, Carrick -a Rede
Wildflowers at Orlock Point. Submitted by Kathy Cardwell
Giant's Causeway. Submitted by Yvonne Mills
Barmouth, Portstewart. Submitted by Alan
Silent Valley. Submitted by Audrey Matchett, Lisburn
Kilgad Lake in Kells, Co.Antrim. Submitted by David Herron
Castleward. Submitted by Magie Archer
Whins on Newcastle Road at Spelga. Submitted by Lesley, Banbridge
Sleive Gullion, South Armagh. Submitted by Paul Flynn, Dublin
Balintoy, Antrim Coast. Submitted by jjbholmes
Banagher Glen, Sperrins. Submitted by Fiona
Carnfunnock, Co Antrim. Submitted by Enda McAtamney
Coastline at Ballintoy. Submitted by Daniel McCann
Nendrum, Co Down. Submitted by SJ McLellan
Temple Water, Castle Ward. Submitted by F Price
Towards Hare's Gap, Mourne Mountains. Submitted by Clare Harvey
View from the Bridge in Newcastle, Co Down. Submitted by Caron Hunter-Rea.
White Rocks, Portrush. Submitted by Jillian
Knocknacarry, Co. Antrim. Submitted by Jim kirkpatrick
Readers' Pictures: Ulster beauty spots
Portstewart. Submiteed by Evelyn McCullough
Mount Stewart, Newtownards. Submitted by Ken
Newcastle. Submitted by Alan Davison
North Antrim Coast. Submitted by Alan Davison
Government House, Hillsborough. Submitted by Alan Davison
Armagh. Submitted by Alan Davison
The North Channel from the Causeway road. Submitted by A. Guiotto - Spain
Newcastle. Submitted by Juanita Fogarty,Portadown
Sketterick Island. Submitted by Sean Wright, Carrickfergus
Ulster Folk Museum. Submitted by Sean Wright, Carrickfergus
A collage of images. Submitted by T. Knight, California

Holidaymakers would find it hard spending a full week or fortnight in Northern Ireland — despite the Executive’s huge tourism push, the Assembly has heard.

The Titanic complex may have opened, with the new Giant’s Causeway centre launch, Irish Open, World Police and Fire Games and other events still ahead — but Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan said visitors would find insufficient activities here to fill up a seven or 14-day break.

The DUP and Ulster Unionists rounded on the remarks as “a shame” and advised Mr Flanagan to go back and look at the area he represents — Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Mr Flanagan argued: “When somebody is looking at a website at home for places to visit, particularly those from places like Australia or America where there is quite a lengthy journey, they will mostly come here for 10 days or a fortnight.

“Many will find it difficult to find enough activities or events to justify staying here for a week or a fortnight. Therefore, there needs to be more work done there.”

The DUP’s Paul Frew said Mr Flanagan, representing the beautiful Fermanagh and South Tyrone area, saying he would struggle to stay for 10 days was “a shame”.

“Let us not have any more self-defeatism; let us promote Northern Ireland for what it is. Let us promote Fermanagh as the holiday destination that it is — a place where you could spend 10 days without any problem whatsoever,” the North Antrim member said.

Ulster Unionist Robin Swann then told Mr Flanagan: “Given that you are a public representative for Fermanagh, which is a fantastic area for tourism, I think that you, sir, should get back and look at your own tourism brochures.”

Mr Flanagan said the brochures for Fermanagh showed only one event — a show in Co Tyrone.

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell said the debate, on a motion from his party urging the Executive to back Tourism Ireland’s plans for ‘The Gathering: An Irish Homecoming’ next year promoting Ireland to 70 million people worldwide, had been turned into “a schoolyard squabble”.

“This is what happens when you have people who do not know much about how tourism works.”

The motion was passed by two votes, by 48 to 46.



...but travel site puts Belfast among UK’s top 10 destinations

Belfast is among the top 10 destinations to visit in the UK, a leading travel site has said.

It is the first time Belfast has been ranked by the TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Destination Awards .

It is thought the opening of the new £90m Titanic visitor attraction , the MTV concerts and the new MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) — which was unveiled last month — helped bump Belfast up to sixth place on the list of must-see UK destinations ahead of Manchester, Blackpool, Birmingham in England and Llandudno in Wales.

This is the latest in a string of tourist-related accolades for Belfast.

Last year it was voted one of the world's top destinations for 2012 by the internationally renowned National Geographic Traveller magazine, which called the city a “treasure” with an “incredible atmosphere”.

TripAdvisor spokeswoman Emma Shaw said: “The UK is a wonderful place for travellers. With so many beautiful towns, villages, sites, cities and more on offer, it’s a tremendous honour for Belfast to be named amongst the UK’s best destinations.”

As the venue for the Olympic Games in July and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations next month, London topped both the UK category, and more surprisingly came in front of tourist meccas such as Rome and Paris in the European list.

The only other UK city to rank in this list was Edinburgh, which took 13th place and was ranked runner-up in the UK category.

The Travellers’ Choice Destinations Awards honour top travel spots worldwide based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor users.

Award winners were determined based on the popularity of destinations, taking into account travellers’ favourites and the most highly rated places.

Suddenly the world wants to visit Northern Ireland

Belfast Telegraph

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