29/09/2010

Titanic Website Launched In New York

A Stormont Executive team has crossed the Atlantic to recall another - more infamous - trip, that of the ill-fated Titanic's maiden voyage.

NI Tourism Minister Arlene Foster has launched a new Titanic website as part of a week-long celebration 'Experience Northern Ireland - Titanic and More', in New York.

Arlene Foster along with the Culture Arts and Leisure Minister, Nelson McCausland, attended the reception to promote Northern Ireland as a 'must see' destination.

The website was launched during a high-profile reception in New York's Grand Central Terminal at the end of a week-long Titanic showcase, organised by Tourism Ireland in association with National Museums Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Speaking at the launch - that was attended by over 250 travel trade media and corporate contacts from the New York and tri-state area - Arlene Foster said: "The new Titanic website, developed by Tourism Ireland, has been developed to profile Northern Ireland and its shipbuilding heritage.

"It will showcase the full range of Northern Ireland related tourism products to a broad range of potential visitors, trade professionals and travel journalists."

Central to the website is a series of new short films that will build the association between the Titanic, Belfast and Northern Ireland.
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The Minister added: "Tourism is a key driver for our economy and the events that have taken place this week in New York signal a strong push by Tourism Ireland into one of Northern Ireland's key markets.

"Close to 150,000 North American visitors came to Northern Ireland in 2009 and the market is extremely valuable as visitors tend to stay longer and spend more than the average visitor from other markets," she continued, also highlighted what she said were exciting times ahead for tourism in Northern Ireland.

"Northern Ireland's tourism package is continually growing.

"The Titanic Signature Project and the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre are due to come to fruition in 2012, and we must work together to maximise the opportunities that exist."

Vibrant

Culture and Arts Minister Nelson McCausland added: "With high levels of investment made by the Northern Ireland Executive over recent years allied to a vibrant cultural life, Northern Ireland's aspiration to become a major cultural tourism destination is built on a solid foundation.

"One obvious example in Belfast is around the story of the Titanic and our shipbuilding and industrial heritage.

"This new Titanic website is an excellent way to further tell the story of the iconic ship whose centenary we will celebrate in 2012. The story will help inform people of the fact that Belfast was the birthplace of Titanic and of a great many other ships of that era," he said. The website can be viewed at: www.the-titanic.com

(BMcC/GK)

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