Belfast Telegraph

Giant numbers with Causeway first Northern Ireland attraction to hit one million visitors

The Giant's Causeway has become the first Northern Ireland tourist attraction to hit 1 million visitors.

The National Trust site has seen numbers increase by a third since 2013, with 70% of visitors drawn in from overseas.

The North Coast region, along with Belfast, was recently hailed as the top region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet.

By comparison, Titanic Belfast - which opened in 2012 - has welcomed 717,585 visitors through its doors to date in 2017.

Northern Ireland's first UNESCO World Heritage site was also named the best UK heritage attraction at the British Travel Awards for the third consecutive time earlier this month.

Heather McLachlan, director of the National Trust Northern Ireland said: "At the National Trust we are committed to delivering a responsible and sustainable tourism offering that minimises social, economic and environmental impacts whilst generating greater economic benefits for local people and enhancing the wellbeing of the local community.

"Situated between the famous Walled City of Derry and Titanic Port of Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway offers visitors the opportunity to marvel at this area of outstanding beauty whilst unlocking the stories of the stunning rock formation."

Aubrey Irwin, head of Northern Ireland at Tourism Ireland (the government body that works to promote tourism on both sides of the border) said it was a "remarkable achievement" and a "testament to the hard work of the National Trust and Giant’s Causeway staff".

"Overseas visitors regularly tell us that their holiday in Northern Ireland has surpassed their expectations and a visit to Giant’s Causeway is certainly a ‘must see’ now on everyone’s itinerary," she said.

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