Belfast Telegraph

Video: Here's what you see on Belfast bus tour and it's not only for visitors

By Ricky Thompson

Belfast’s tourist scene has a lot to offer but local people aren't taking enough time to discover the city, according to a leading tour company.

Over the last decade Belfast has developed a solid tourism industry and benefited from an influx of foreign visitors who take in the sights and sounds of the city but local people may be missing out because they “assume they know everything”.

Most people wouldn't consider taking a bus tour in their own city but that’s exactly what a Belfast tour guide says everyone should do.

Brian English, from Belfast City Sightseeing, said he wants local residents to discover what lies closer to home before travelling abroad: “People from Belfast believe they know everything there is to know about Belfast and yet, with every city in the world, the people who know least about the cities are the people that live there.

“People in Barcelona don’t go on the Barcelona trip because they assume they know everything. It’s not being conceited, they just think they see it all.

Brian believes those living in the city generally aren't aware of a lot of the information provided on the tours and everyone would learn something new if they tried it.

He said most people who do go on a tour, find they’re only going because friends and family are visiting from abroad: “When they get off the tour they find they've discovered so much more- not just about the city but about the politics and the history.

“Belfast has got the best tour, for the simple reason that there is politics, there is history, there’s division and there’s been a past. We don’t avoid it - we talk about it in a very neutral way.

“Most people think that it’s just talking about the buildings but we take it all in and I think everyone who has been on the tour with their visitors have enjoyed it.

“You only have to look at some of the comments (online) from locals, that they would never in a million years have gone on the tour unless they had a visitor and once they've had a visitor then they’re the best ambassadors for Belfast and they’re raving about it.”

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