Titanic ‘will be bigger than the Olympics’

A TRAVEL journalist has claimed that the Titanic commemorations in Belfast will be an even bigger draw for tourists than this year’s London Olympics.

And a top guidebook used by American tourists, Fodor’s, has dedicated eight pages of its Ireland 2012 guidebook to Titanic, describing it as the “world’s biggest tourism story in 2012”. Additionally, Fodor’s has named Belfast as one of the top 21 places in the world to visit in 2012.

Local travel journalist Paul Clements, a contributing writer to Fodor’s Ireland 2012, said his New York editor believes that the Belfast commemorations of the Titanic’s centenary will be the biggest tourism story in the world in 2012 – even bigger than the Olympics as far as the US market is concerned.

“That is quite an endorsement from one of the most respected and long-established travel guidebooks in the world – one which is a major influence amongst US tourists when choosing holiday destinations,” said Mr Clements.

“It is most unusual for a guidebook to dedicate as many as eight pages to the coverage of one topic, but this reflects the scale and depth of interest throughout America and the rest of the world in the Titanic story.

“The book has already hit the shelves in the US and tourists there will no doubt be reading up on Titanic Belfast and planning their trips to Northern Ireland.”

National Geographic recently named Belfast in the top 20 places to visit in 2012.

Titanic Belfast, the visitor centre located where the great ship was built, will open on March 31 – in time for the centenary of her maiden voyage.