The number of cruise ships visiting Belfast has more than doubled over the last six years as an overall upward trend in tourist activity continues, government statistics have revealed.
Published on Thursday, the figures show that the five million overnight trips were taken in Northern Ireland last year, boosting the economy by an estimated £968 million.
The top three responding attractions (excluding parks and gardens) during 2018 were Giant’s Causeway, Titanic Belfast and Ulster Museum.
An estimated 2.2 million hotel room nights were sold last year, with hotel room occupancy estimated to be 70%.
The Department for the Economy said that although “there is no statistically significant change” in the headline measures of trips and tourist spend between 2017 and 2018, there “have been statistically significant increases over the longer term”.
The new figures relate to all overnight visitors, including those from Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and those living outside the UK and Ireland, as well as domestic tourists within Northern Ireland.
Further information is available at www.nisra.gov.uk/statistics/tourism