Titanic Belfast 'attracts £1m weekly spend from international visitors'

Kerrie Sweeny from Titanic Foundation Limited and Judith Owens from Titanic Belfast pictured with Jackie Henry from Deloitte as they announce the attraction's economic impact and its investment into a gallery refreshment
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE Titanic Belfast attraction is currently drawing in a spend of £1 million every week from international visitors, an economic impact report from advisers Deloitte has confirmed.

Since opening in 2012, the world's largest Titanic exhibition has welcomed six million visitors from 145 different countries, with 88 per cent coming from outside the north.

In that time is has generated a spend of £319 million, with the figure growing from an average £38 million on average in its first three years to £60 million a year currently.

And the attraction, which has changed the tourism footprint of Northern Ireland forever, isn't resting on its laurels, with its owner Titanic Foundation Ltd outlining plans to re-invest £3 million into a scheme to revamp its gallery - the biggest single project since opening seven years ago.

Jackie Henry, office senior partner at Deloitte NI, said: “Having evaluated Titanic Belfast's story from the outset, it stands out as one of Northern Ireland's shining success stories, and it is not just sustaining but growing in popularity as a global attraction.

“Accolades such as winning the World Travel Award had a measurable impact that was harnessed, resulting in a 17 per cent growth in out-of-state visitor numbers the following year.

“Alongside its economic impact, which has grown to £60 million a year, it has provided hundreds of jobs, and raised levels of ambition and confidence in Northern Ireland.”

Kerrie Sweeney, chief executive of the charity which owns the iconic building, added: “We opened in 2012 with the aim of establishing Belfast as the home of Titanic, showcasing the city's maritime and industrial past, and Titanic Belfast has certainly done this, going from strength to strength on both the local, national and international level.

“This report has proved Titanic Belfast is a shining example of how a significant tourism investment, combined with passion and belief, can be a catalyst for economic growth and help positively position a destination on the worldwide stage.”

The attraction's chief executive Judith Owens said: “We are determined to build on our success, push boundaries and stay at the forefront of the industry.

“Through our £3m gallery refreshment programme, we aim to deliver a world-class spectacle that will continue to drive visitors to Belfast and Northern Ireland and will boost the interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the city and people which built her, in an innovative way for future generations.”

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