Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland tourism on the rise: Giant's Causeway reaches almost 1 million visitors

By John Mulgrew

The Giant's Causeway is proving to be Northern Ireland's most popular tourist spot and approaching almost 1 million visitors a year, new figures show.

There was an increase of 11% in the last year, bringing annual visitor numbers to close to 1 million, according to the Northern Ireland Annual Tourism Statistics.

It also showed last year estimated overnight trips to Northern Ireland by external visitors stood at 2.6 million.

That's the highest number on record and a 12% increase on 2015

In 2016 there were an estimated 4.6 million overnight trips in Northern Ireland. This figure includes trips to Northern Ireland of external visitors and domestic trips taken by local residents.

And the number of visitors coming from the Republic made a huge recovery in 2016, fuelled by the cheap power, numbers soared by more than a third – with 455,000 visitors.

Last year, 93 cruise ships docked at Northern Ireland ports, up by 26 on the previous year.

Meanwhile, visitors to Titanic Belfast rose by 7% to 667,000 in 2016.

But Belfast Zoo saw numbers falling by 6%, to 223,000.

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