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Titanic centre visited by 1.45m people since opening in 2012

Suzanne McGonagle s.mcgonagle@irishnews.com

THE Titanic Visitor Centre in Belfast has attracted more than 1.45 million visitors since it opened two years ago.

New figures reveal that the major tourist attraction has been visited by people from across the globe since it officially launched on March 31 2012.

Figures show, however, that visitor numbers dropped from 800,000 in its first year to 650,000 last year.

Since opened its doors, Titanic Belfast had become regarded as one of Northern Ireland's biggest tourist facilities.

Over the past two years, tourists from across the world have flocked to see what the £100m project has to offer.

People from more than 100 countries, including Australia, America, Nepal, Korea, Andorra and Afghanistan, have been among those to visit.

Its opening in March 2012 coincided with the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking, in which 1,502 people lost their lives.

In the first year, the facility smashed its visitor forecast by exceeding all expectations.

Figures showed that more than 800,000 people from 128 countries visited Titanic Belfast in its first year.

It had been predicted it would need 290,000 visitors a year to break even.

The attraction has an annual target of 450,000 visitors and now on the second anniversary of its launch, it has emerged that 650,000 people passed through its doors in the past year.

The six-storey visitors centre is close to the slip-way where the Titanic was launched a century ago.

Visitors are guided through nine exhibitions, spread over four storeys, charting the history of the Titanic from its construction in the nearby Harland & Wolff shipyard to its final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic.

A spokesman for the Titanic Centre said they were "delighted" with the visitor numbers to date.

The spokesman said the figures were boosted by visitor numbers to other events on the Titanic Belfast Plaza SIipways.

* TOURISM: The Titanic Visitor Centre in Belfast has had 650,000 people pass through its doors in the past year

n liner: The Titanic sank with the loss of 1,502 lives

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