Titanic an indisputable winner for tourism

Three years since it opened, Titanic Belfast is proving to be a major economic driver for the province, bringing thousands of tourists, generating millions in additional tourism spend and creating hundreds of jobs.

That’s the verdict of an independent report commissioned to assess the impact of the attraction on visitor numbers and the economy and which says it is well on the way to exceeding original targets.

The report, delivered by business advisors Deloitte, reflects on Titanic Belfast’s first three years of business, and the potential for future growth.

Among other details it reports:

:: £105 million in additional tourism spend generated for the Northern Ireland economy over the three years, sustaining around 893 jobs each year in the wider economy

:: 1.9 million admissions to the galleries; 150,000 conference delegates and 100,000 visitors to special exhibitions

:: visitor numbers peaked in the first year of opening, with over 800,000 customers, and have continued to remain highly resilient with 700,000 customers to the galleries, exhibitions and conferences in year three

:: more than 71 per cent of visitors were from outside Northern Ireland with 576,000 visiting from within the province

Noting that half a million people gave the attraction as their main reason to visit Northern Ireland, Andrew McCormick, permanent secretary at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, said: “Titanic Belfast has played a major part in this success with over 2.5 million visitors to its galleries since opening.”

“I would like to see tourism grow to become a £I billion industry by 2020 and award winning offerings such as Titanic Belfast ensure that Northern Ireland visitor experience has recognition on the international stage”.

Nicky Dunn, Chair of Titanic Foundation, said: “Deloitte’s three year report is a clear indicator of the important role Titanic Foundation has played in the concept and delivery of Titanic Belfast as well as the essential role it has played in the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter.

“This could not have been achieved without the bold vision of our funders and donors. The results are also testament to the commitment and hard work by the operator – Titanic Belfast, their management team and the 300 staff.”

Jackie Henry, senior partner at Deloitte, said: “Our extensive analysis has found compelling evidence that the original projections and targets relating to Titanic Belfast’s economic, social and physical impact have been met and indeed exceeded.

“In particular Titanic Belfast has proved to be an economic driver, providing jobs, unlocking investment and a significant boost to tourism.”