Titanic Belfast named as Northern Ireland's most popular tourist attraction

Tourism NI
Tourist hot-spots drew in thousands of visitors, but trips are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. Credit: Tourism NI

Titanic Belfast was Northern Ireland's most visited tourist attraction in 2022, according to figures released by the Northern Ireland Statistic and Research Agency (NISRA).

The visitor hot-spot was closely followed in popularity by the Derry Walls and the Giant's Causeway.

During the same time period, hotel bookings in Northern Ireland experienced a "stronger than expected recovery" since the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2022, NISRA reported that more than 2.1m hotel rooms were sold in Northern Ireland, however overall figures remain slightly down on pre-pandemic levels.

NISRA figures show more than 512,000 rooms and 941,000 beds were sold in guesthouses, guests accommodation and B&Bs last year in Northern Ireland.

That's an increase of 67% in room sales and a 70% increase in bed sales compared to 2021.

The number of people from the Republic of Ireland who spent their holiday in Northern Ireland increased compared to pre-pandemic levels by 2%.

Tourist attractions, Titanic Belfast and the Giant's Causeway, saw visitation numbers grow by 173% and 298% respectively.

Yet, these figures have not broken pre-pandemic 2019 levels - something which NISRA puts down to the cost of living and inflation.

CEO of Tourism Northern Ireland, John McGrillen said the latest tourism figures "represent a comprehensive insight into the recovery of our industry across a number of sectors".

"Northern Ireland’s attraction sector was severely impacted by the pandemic, and the significant reduction in overseas visitors, but signs of recovery are evident in the survey findings”. 

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