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Tourists warm to Northern Ireland's soaring temperatures

By Angela Rainey

Published 01/06/2016

Thomas Joyce and Gina Palomo
Thomas Joyce and Gina Palomo

Soaring temperatures have been welcoming tourists from all over the world to Northern Ireland this week.

Thousands of people took advantage of the long-awaited sunshine as temperatures hit 23 degrees yesterday, with hundreds flocking to see the sights across the country.

Attractions such as the new Titanic Quarter, Tyrella beach in Newcastle, Co Down, the Belfast bus tours and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge on the North coast, all experienced an increase in visitors as the warm weather encouraged people to go out and explore.

According to weather experts, the glorious sunshine will hang around for the rest of the week with temperatures continuing at about 19 degrees, although dipping to around 15 degrees on Thursday.

Temperatures peak at their warmest at around 6pm most days, allowing time for workers to rush home and get the barbecue on and stretch out while enjoying the last of the rays in the early evening.

The heat also drew a wealth of tourists to Belfast, with many saying that Northern Ireland's fascinating history and its delightfully friendly people were just two of their reasons for visiting our shores.

Many of the visitors were glad to be here on such a good week and were enjoying the sights and sounds of Northern Ireland.

So what did visitors think of their time here?

Thomas Joyce, Gina Palomo

Thomas (27), software sales, from Minnesota, USA, has spent three days here after proposing to his now fiancee Gina Palomo in Galway. He says:

"Belfast is my favourite place in the north. It has such a history to it, not just the Troubles but the interesting ancient sites. I've spent quite a lot, over £500, and I want to visit Primark for bargains, I have taken a black taxi tour. It's an extremely friendly city."

Gina (28) works in marketing, from Minnesota, USA. She has been seeing the sites and has spent more than £500 on her holiday. She says:

"My favourite attraction was doing the Carrick-A-Rede bridge, that was awesome. It was fun and beautiful there. It's evidenced by some of the attractions here that you guys are trying to attract more tourists and I have to say that the Guinness is ten times better here!"

Ursula Almeid

Ursula (27) from Brazil, is an English student based in Dublin. She says:

"The city is really nice and I like how so much of Belfast is new.

"As a bonus the weather is warm and we got a reduced student rate at Titanic. The accent is different to Dublin but the people are very similar."

Patricia McIlveen

Patricia McIlveen (60) works for Nokia, from Ottowa, Canada. She says:.

"I was born in Montreal then came here aged two years old. I then went back to Canada and came here 50 years ago aged 10. I had family who worked at Harland and Wolff so it was great to see that. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. We enjoyed visiting the Titanic building and also the Game of Thrones set as we have a relative who cares for the horses on set."

Sarah Kidder

Sarah (33), a graphic designer from Ottowa, Canada arrived on Sunday for two weeks. She says:

"I think that Belfast is a great city. My favourite attraction is Titanic Belfast and the Arty Frost exhibition as I am related to him. I am not sure how, but I am told he is a relative. We translate everything into Canadian dollars so we are not sure whether it is expensive here or not as dollars are twice the pound, though we did pay £10.50 for fish and chips."

Junia Sgarabotto

Junia (34) from Brazil, is an English student based in Dublin. She says:

"I am here for the day for my friend's birthday and she wanted to go to the Titanic museum.

"I love the history here, the city hall, the Albert Clock and the murals.The history here is amazing.

"I haven't spent a lot yet but I will probably spend around £100 after we have lunch but it depends on how much I have to drink after that."

Cathy Simpson

Cathy (79) is a retired telephonist from Glasgow. She says:

"Everyone is friendly here. We haven't found it particularly expensive and we'll spend around £150 by the time we go."

Louise Reynolds

Louise (81) from Glasgow. She says:

"We have enjoyed our time here but we have sat on the bus a lot on the tours so it would be nice to come back and spend more time."

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