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July's Tall Ships festival put wind in hotels' sails

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A Fireworks works display  during the Tall Ships Maritime festival at the City's dock  in Belfast.

A Fireworks works display during the Tall Ships Maritime festival at the City's dock in Belfast.

A Fireworks works display during the Tall Ships Maritime festival at the City's dock in Belfast.

The Tall Ships festival in Belfast helped city hotel occupancy rates sail to a buoyant 86.2% between June and August, Visit Belfast has revealed.

And with events such as the summer's maritime show pulling in the visitors, Visit Belfast said the city was on track for its best year yet for tourism.

Inquiries to staff at the organisation - the body which promotes the city at home and abroad - were up by a third during January and June.

This year is also due to be a record 12 months for cruises, with 60 ships due to drop anchor in Belfast by the end of 2015.

Visit Belfast said hotel occupancy, visitor interest and tourist inquiries were at "record levels" in the first six months of the year.

Conferencing was also a growing area, with the tourist body revealing that in the 12 months to the end of June, it had secured 24 national and international conferences worth an estimated £28.3m, delivering 66,340 bed nights for hotels in the city.

And at 86.2% between June and August, hotel occupancy was up nearly 4% on the year before.

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Visitor numbers were also up by 20% in July and 25% in August compared to the previous year.


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