Titanic trips launched for tourists

Special Titanic tours are set to boost tourism in Northern Ireland.

Special Titanic tours are set to boost tourism in Northern Ireland.

Tours telling the story of the Titanic, from her creation in Belfast to her sinking in the Atlantic in April 1912 with the loss of 1,490 lives, are being offered by Ulster's North Down Borough Council.

Launched at World Travel Market in London, the tours are set to be snapped up, particularly, by American travellers.

The packages range from a three-hour tour of Belfast to a nine-day tour linking North Down with Southampton, from where the Titanic sailed.

"The Titanic legend may have ended in the North Atlantic but the fact that its birth place was in Belfast is not so well known to an international audience," said North Down's Tourism chief, Alan Chambers.

Tourists will be able to see the slipway on which the Titanic was created.

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board also announced today that British holiday visitors to Ulster increased by 25% in 1998, with 81,000 heading for the region.

The board's chairman, Roy Bailie said the country's tourism industry had potential to add £500m of revenue per year to the economy and to create 20,000 new jobs.

This April the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau opened with a budget of £3m to promote the city.

New hotels planned include a Holiday Inn in south Belfast and a city centre Forte Post House which is due to open early next year.

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