Titanic Belfast has been named the ‘World’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ at the World Travel Awards.
In what has been a benchmark year of success for the Titanic attraction, the win caps the award already received for being Europe’s best.
This latest victory saw the Belfast landmark fight off competition from the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Machu Pichu in Peru, the Las Vegas Strip USA, and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.
The European crown was wrapped up by blazing out ahead of the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum and the Acropolis.
Tim Husbands MBE, Titanic Belfast’s Chief Executive, said that it crowned what had been a year which built upon previous years filled with hard work and innovation.
“Over the past few years, we have continued to go from strength to strength but to be voted the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction by both the industry and the public for excellence and for our original product, is really the jewel in our crown,” he said.
“We are delighted that this award firmly shines a spotlight not only on Titanic Belfast but Belfast and Northern Ireland, and celebrates our authentic insight and connection to RMS Titanic.
“The Titanic story captures hearts and minds throughout the world and at Titanic Belfast, this is no exception.
“Our interpretation of the story and ability to engage with visitors on many different levels has been fundamental in winning this award. With the award, we hope to attract more tourists to Northern Ireland to discover it.”
The First and deputy First Ministers have also praised the win, saying that it marked Northern Ireland out as exceptional when it comes to tourism.
“We always knew that in Titanic Belfast, we were home to a world class attraction that would become a global brand,” said Mrs Foster.
“While it’s no surprise to me it has been recognised in this way, it is a wonderful achievement to win the ‘world’s best’ accolade ahead of other venues like Machu Picchu and the Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari World.
“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.
“I congratulate Tim Husbands and his entire team for the hard work and professionalism which has put Titanic Belfast, quite literally, on top of the world.”
“This is terrific news for Titanic Belfast and will help in our global pitch to make the north of Ireland one of the world’s top tourism destinations,” said Mr McGuinness.
“The Titanic story is well known but it is greatly enhanced and enriched by the visitor experience at Titanic Belfast.
“Next week the First Minister and I are in China exploring development opportunities and rest assured we will take every opportunity to promote the award winning Titanic Belfast.”