Titanic Belfast has been crowned the ‘World’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ at the World Travel Awards in the Maldives.
Previous winners of the coveted award include the Taj Mahal, Las Vegas Strip and the Pyramids of Egypt.
The attraction, which takes visitors through the history of the world-famous vessel, had already beaten the Colosseum, Acropolis and the Eiffel Tower to become Europe’s official Leading Tourist Attraction.
But now Titanic Belfast has taken its success to an entirely different level, becoming the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction. Over three million people have visited since it opened in 2012.
The centre won the title in a competition with over one million votes cast from over 216 countries in what is known as ‘The Tourism Oscars’,
It beat off stiff competition from eight finalists, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the Las Vegas Strip, USA, Machu Picchu [an Incan citadel in the Andes] , Peru and Guinness Storehouse, Ireland.
It is the first time an attraction from the island of Ireland has won the award.
Tim Husbands MBE, Titanic Belfast’s Chief Executive, said; “Over the past few years, we have continued to go from strength to strength but to be voted the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction by both the industry and the public for excellence and for our original product, is really the jewel in our crown.”
The organisation is “delighted” at the award which celebrates their “authentic insight and connection to RMS Titanic” he added.
The Northern Ireland public, industry partners, well-known personalities, politicians, sports stars and businesses all backed the bid.
First Minister Arlene Foster, said: “We always knew that in Titanic Belfast, we were home to a world class attraction that would become a global brand. While it’s no surprise to me it has been recognised in this way, it is a wonderful achievement to win the ‘world’s best’ accolade ahead of other venues like Machu Picchu and the Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari World.”
Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness added: “This is terrific news for Titanic Belfast and will help in our global pitch to make the north of Ireland one of the world’s top tourism destinations.”