Titanic Belfast beats Ferrari World, Las Vegas Strip, Machu Picchu and Guinness Storehouse to be named World's Leading Tourist Attraction
Titanic Belfast has been named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards in the Maldives.
Having already beaten the Colosseum, the Acropolis and the Eiffel Tower to become Europe's official Leading Tourist Attraction,Titanic Belfast has been victorious again as it became the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction on Friday.
More than 1 million votes were cast from over 216 countries to determine what would be given the prestigious accolade.
Titanic Belfast was up against eight global finalists, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the Las Vegas Strip, USA, Machu Picchu, Peru and Guinness Storehouse, Ireland.
It is the first time an attraction from Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland has won the prestigious accolade.
Opened in 2012, the Titanic museum has welcomed three million visitors from 145 different countries to date - including the Queen, US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, film director James Cameron and celebrities such as Adele and Michael Buble.
Spread across six floors, the museum consists of nine galleries that bring the liner's famous story to life.
Tim Husbands MBE, Titanic Belfast’s Chief Executive, said: “Over the past few years, we have continued to go from strength to strength but to be voted the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction by both the industry and the public for excellence and for our original product, is really the jewel in our crown.
"We are delighted that this award firmly shines a spotlight not only on Titanic Belfast but Belfast and Northern Ireland, and celebrates our authentic insight and connection to RMS Titanic."
First Minister Arlene Foster said that Titanic Belfast has become an "iconic tourist must see".
Mrs Foster said: "We always knew that in Titanic Belfast, we were home to a world class attraction that would become a global brand. While it’s no surprise to me it has been recognised in this way, it is a wonderful achievement to win the ‘world’s best’ accolade ahead of other venues like Machu Picchu and the Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari World.
"I had the privilege as Tourism Minister of being involved with the project since its inception, and this award is further proof that the investment and imagination that went into this attraction keeps paying dividends for the whole of Northern Ireland.
“I congratulate Tim Husbands and his entire team for the hard work and professionalism which has put Titanic Belfast, quite literally, on top of the world.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness welcomed the announcement as "terrific news".
"We will take every opportunity to promote the award winning Titanic Belfast,” he added.