MOTHER-OF-TWO Ciara Harmon has made a little bit of history.
For she was welcomed to Titanic Belfast on Tuesday as the attraction’s one-millionth ticket-holder.
Ciara’s family ticket – purchased as part of a day-trip to Belfast with husband John and children Nicole (16) and Aaron (12) – was the milestone one-millionth booked for a tour of Titanic Belfast, The World’s Largest Titanic Visitor Experience located at the birthplace of Titanic in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Visitor number targets were exceeded when Canadian citizen Lynda Price became the 500,000 visitor.
And now Titanic Belfast – Northern Ireland’s first-ever 5-star visitor -attraction – has exceeded targets once again.
Today, just 16 months after opening during the historic 100 tragic maiden voyage, Titanic Belfast’s appeal has spread to one-million visitors, and to 145 countries – from America to Zimbabwe, from the Republic of Ireland to China.
Ciara Harmon, from Co Kildare, was greeted at Titanic Belfast today by CEO Tim Husbands and The Right Honorable, The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.
Titanic Belfast celebrated Ciara’s arrival with live music, free gifts for visitors and a Cool FM outside broadcast with DJ Pete Snodden, packed with Titanic Belfast competitions and giveaways.
The city weighed in behind Titanic Belfast’s big occasion, with Value Cabs, Victoria Square, Hilton Belfast, Diageo, Titanic & City Tours, Cool FM and Visit Belfast, all ensuring that the Harmon family’s two-day stay was a memorable one.
Tim Husbands, Titanic Belfast CEO, said: “It’s amazing to think that Titanic Belfast recently welcomed its 500,000th anniversary year of Titanic’s visitor, and now we have the milestone one-millionth ticket bought.
“Once again, and ahead of time, our own expectations have been exceeded, and we are very proud to host Ciara Harmon and her family, along with all of our guests on a momentous occasion for Titanic Belfast.
“One million visitors have come from 145 countries to walk through the world’s largest Titanic exhibition. Those numbers are testament to the appeal of Titanic, and the appeal of Belfast as a new, vibrant, confident tourist destination.”
Special guest Ciara Harmon said: “It was a bit of a shock when I got the call from Titanic Belfast. We had just planned to come up to the city for the day and instead it has turned out to be an occasion we will never forget.
“It’s amazing to see how much Belfast has transformed; it’s a wonderful city and we are pleased to be part of this great occasion for Titanic Belfast. The exhibition was amazing,with so much detail on the story of Titanic. It’s only when you visit do you realise the extent of
Titanic’s impact on the world.”
Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir: “This is a remarkable figure and highlights the transformation of Belfast as a tourist destination,” he added.
“Our city is so proud of Titanic Belfast which is now recognised as one of the world’s most iconic buildings, and is also a symbol of our renewed confidence as a destination with much to offer international visitors.”
Mark Walker, Area General Manager of Hilton Hotels in Northern Ireland: “Titanic Belfast has made a significant impact on tourism growth and has gone from strength-to-strength since its spectacular opening in April 2012. We are delighted to partner up with such a fabulous visitor attraction in celebrating its one millionth ticket sale and we are pleased to welcome Ciara Harmon and her family to our city’s only 5-star international hotel.”
Titanic Belfast is an iconic six-floor building featuring nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the City and people which made her.
It is the world’s largest Titanic exhibition.
The building houses temporary exhibits, a banqueting suite, education and community facilities, catering and retail space, and a basement car park. Visitors learn about the construction of RMS Titanic and the wide and rich story of Northern Ireland’s industrial and maritime heritage.
Supported by the Northern Ireland Executive, Titanic Belfast is a unique public/private partnership funded by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour and Titanic Quarter Ltd. It is operated by Titanic Belfast Ltd and owned by the Titanic Foundation Ltd.
TITANIC BELFAST FACTS AND FIGURES:
• Since opening on March 31, 2012, Titanic Belfast has welcomed 1-million visitors
• 72% of visitors since March 31, 2012, are from out of state (non-Northern Ireland residents)
• More than 60,000 guests have been served in Titanic Belfast’s conference and banqueting suites, including Her Majesty, The Queen of England, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, TITANIC director James Cameron, and singer Rod Stewart
• More than 15,600 bottles of Titanic beer have been sold between March 31, 2012 and July 30, 2013
• More than 129,000 cups of tea have been served in Bistro 401 and The Galley Café in Titanic Belfast between March 31, 2012 and July 30, 2013
• More than 155,000 cups of coffee have been served in Bistro 401 and The Galley Café in Titanic Belfast between March 31, 2012 and July 30, 2013