5th September 2016

Titanic Belfast Named Best Attraction in Europe


Press Release Image Photographer William Cherry / Press Eye Thursday 1st September 2016 First Minister Arlene Foster joins celebrations with Titanic Belfast's Vice-Chairman Conal Harvey, Chief Executive Tim Husbands MBE and Titanic Foundation Limited's Kerrie Sweeney, as it is named as Europe's Leading Visitor Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards held in Sardinia, Italy, beating off stiff competition from The Eiffel Tower, France and The Roman Colosseum, Italy.

Titanic Belfast has been named as Europe’s Leading Visitor Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards held in Sardinia, Italy, last night.

It is the first time an attraction in Northern Ireland has won the award at the ceremony, which has been nicknamed the ‘Tourism Oscars’, in its 23 year history.

Titanic Belfast beat off stiff competition for the top spot from the Acropolis, Athens, Buckingham Palace, England, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, La Sagrada Familia, Spain, Ribeira do Porto, Portugal, The Eiffel Tower, France and The Roman Colosseum, Italy.

Titanic Belfast Chief Executive, Tim Husbands MBE, commented, “We are absolutely thrilled to be Europe’s Best Tourist Attraction. After only four years in operation, to be recognised and beat off stiff competition from Europe’s most iconic landmarks is a true honour. We know what we offer at Titanic Belfast is something our city and country can be proud of and are so please that this is has been recognised on an international level. We are looking forward to welcoming the national and international visitors that this award will attract to Belfast and Northern Ireland. We would like to thank everyone who has supported and voted for us.”

First Minister Arlene Foster, said, “In just four short years, Titanic Belfast has become an iconic tourist attraction, attracting over three million visitors from all over the world. Titanic Belfast is now a global brand which has put Northern Ireland on the map for all the right reasons so last night’s official confirmation that it is now Europe’s leading tourist attraction is well deserved. I had the privilege as Tourism Minister of being involved with the project since its inception, and this award is further proof that the investment and imagination that went into this attraction keeps paying dividends for the whole of Northern Ireland.”

The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “Titanic Belfast being voted Europe’s leading visitor attraction is a phenomenal achievement. The story of the Titanic is known around the globe and it is only right and proper we have a world class visitor attraction to match. When we opened this building in 2012 we hoped it would enable the current and future generations to explore the story of The Titanic in an innovative and interactive manner. Titanic Belfast has been a resounding success and I thank everyone involved in making this local tourism attraction a global ‘must see.”

Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Titanic Foundation Limited, the charity set-up to oversee the development of Titanic Belfast and who preserve Belfast’s maritime and industrial heritage, said, “When Titanic Belfast first opened, we knew we had delivered an iconic building with an authentic story. Added to the amazing drive, talent and passion of the staff and crew, Titanic Belfast delivers a truly personal, memorable experience day in and day out. It’s wonderful to see this recognised through such a large scale public vote.”

Since opening in 2012, Titanic Belfast has established itself as a world-class attraction on the local, national and international stage, and continues to go from strength to strength.  Last month, it welcomed its three-millionth visitor, having once again exceeded visitor number expectations. This milestone came during a record-breaking August, as the visitor attraction experienced its busiest day to date. The visitor experience has also experienced significant growth from France, Germany, USA and China year to date.

The award adds to Titanic Belfast accolades as it was recently included in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist of 500 of the world’s most striking locations, featuring everything from imposing temples to hidden gems, after only a few years in operation. For more information, visit www.titanicbelfast.com.