Titanic Belfast hosted representatives from the UK’s leading visitor attractions at a major tourism conference this week.
The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) held its best attended council meeting, since its formation 25 years ago, at Belfast's own Titanic visitor experience.
Over 60 directors and senior managers from the UK's leading attractions including Houses of Parliament, Victoria and Albert Museum, Edinburgh Castle, Harry Potter Studio Tours and St Paul's Cathedral gathered at Titanic Belfast for a pre-council meeting dinner on Wednesday night, where they were welcomed by Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell.
Speaking at the Titanic Belfast reception, Mr Bell said: “Titanic Belfast is an amazing attraction which Northern Ireland is rightly proud of it. More than two million people from over 145 different countries have been to visit since it opened in 2012. This is proof that the investment, imagination and energy that went into this attraction keeps paying dividends and it is a success story that keeps on running. Continuously raising the quality and standards of the tourism offer is key to attracting more out-of-state visitors and in growing towards our target of tourism becoming a £1 billion industry by 2020.”
Tim Husbands MBE, Titanic Belfast’s Chief Executive and ALVA Board member said: “This is the first-time the council meeting has been held in Northern Ireland and the majority of the participants that flew in for the event openly consider the Titanic Belfast one of the best tourist attractions in the UK.
“Many of the participants have extended their stay for the bank holiday weekend, which is great news for Belfast and Northern Ireland. It represents how popular Belfast is becoming as a destination of choice for tourists. We are very proud of the significant role that we have and will continue to play in putting Belfast on the tourism map.”
The event kicked off with a guided tour of the experience, before the tourism leaders previewed Titanic Belfast’s new galleries before their official launch. The visitors were then treated to a drinks reception on the SS Nomadic and a White Star dinner at the Titanic Suite. The prestigious event comes just a week after Titanic Belfast was crowned ‘Outstanding Visitor Experience’ at the prestigious Northern Ireland Tourism Awards.
Titanic Belfast and the SS Nomadic are open to the public with a full programme of events, for more information, go to www.titanicbelfast.com.