The Tall Ships and a newly revamped Ulster Museum helped attract 9.3m tourists to Belfast in 2009, contributing £450m to the economy, it has been revealed. There were 2.5m day and overnight visits from the Republic — more than double those in 2008.
The Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau (BVCB) said visitor numbers were up 30% on 2008. Figures include international visitors, visitors from the UK and daytrippers from other parts of Northern Ireland.
SDLP mayor of Belfast Patrick Convery announced the visitor numbers at the BVCB’s annual general meeting yesterday.
Out of the 9.3m tourists, 1.6m were overnight visits by people from outside Northern Ireland — up 12% on the year before.
Mr Convery said: “These visitor figures are a tremendous boost for Belfast.”
Gerry Lennon, BVCB chief executive, added: “Belfast has come of age and has developed into a confident and contemporary city, a place with a rich sense of welcome and a wide range of things to do.”