Staycationers essential for Northern Ireland attractions as Titanic Belfast plans to reopen

Titanic Belfast announced it would reopen on August 1 after a four-month shutdown that could have cost the economy tens of millions of pounds.

The site, which has been named the world’s top tourist attraction, said it typically helps generate additional spending for the economy of £ 60million per year. But his income disappeared overnight after being forced to close at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Its closure for more than four months will have cost the economy around £ 20million in additional spending.

The attraction has now announced new measures and improvements before it reopens.

Measures include advance booking only, pre-arranged time slots, reduced capacity, disinfection stations, and social distancing throughout.

Managing Director Judith Owens said: “By attracting over 6 million local, national and international visitors, we have not only become a key economic engine for Northern Ireland, but a symbol of it and its spirit. .

“Now more than ever, we must show the spirit and ambition that built the RMS Titanic, and be the recovery catalyst for our city and our industry.

“But to do this we need local support and we have improved our offer for the domestic market.”

Features include its thematic tour with the galleries of the Titanic Belfast and a visit to the SS Nomadic, a ship that carried passengers to the doomed liner, which sank in 1912.

Ms Owens added: “There are also many developments in the area that capitalize on outdoor space, including picnic areas and the Titanic Foundation’s new Maritime Mile Treasure Trail, which will launch in August.”

The six-story Titanic Belfast was named the world’s best tourist attraction at the World Travel Awards in 2016. Economy Minister Diane Dodds said reopening Titanic Belfast and other attractions was vital in attracting visitors .

“I encourage anyone enjoying a stay this year to get out there and enjoy all the sights, scenes and tastes that Northern Ireland has to offer.

“We all need to do what we can to support our local tourism industry if we are to ensure that we can enjoy all it has to offer in the years to come. “

Andrew Webb, chief economist at Grant Thornton business advisers, said attractions such as Titanic Belfast should benefit from the holiday market even if the normal floods of foreign tourists were absent.

He said on a recent trip to the north coast he found that “the streets and beaches seemed busier, so restaurant owners were out in force.”

“This could bode well for the reopening of major attractions.

“While international travelers are scarce, there is a domestic market that seems increasingly willing to re-engage in our local tourism offering after the lockdown,” he said.

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