Tourism Ireland was established under the framework of the Belfast Agreement of Good Friday, April 1998, to increase tourism to the island of Ireland as a whole.
Today, the organisation employs 150 people in key source markets – Great Britain, USA and Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Australia – as well as in Ireland, in Dublin and Coleraine – to deliver targeted marketing programmes and work in close cooperation with travel trade, on-line operators, media, carriers and Irish industry partners.
For more information about Tourism Ireland, please visit our corporate site.
Tourism Ireland has worked closely with its sister agencies on the island of Ireland, particularly in the development of this website, both National Museums Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, have provided this site with content, information and imagery.
National Museums Northern Ireland:
The Ulster Folk & Transport Museum holds a unique and extensive collection of artefacts relating to the Titanic itself and, importantly, its wider context within the White Star Line fleet as well as Belfast’s social and globally-recognised industrial culture at the turn of the 20th century. Along with the museum’s curatorial expertise, the collection makes National Museums a significant international focus for Titanic and its associated themes. It also acts as an attractive research resource in the run-up to the centenary of the Titanic story.
National Museums Northern Ireland is also developing a new Titanic website to profile National Museums’ collections and expertise in maritime and industrial heritage. Building on the success of the museum’s award-winning ‘Titanic Built in Belfast’ website, the newly redeveloped website will focus on human and local history, art, culture and emigration.
From a broader perspective, the Ulster American Folk Park in County Tyrone tells the story of emigration from Ireland to America. A living museum featuring costumed guides and original dwellings, the Ulster American Folk Park allows visitors to experience the strength and depth of the emigration story and discover the powerful contribution emigrant families made to the shaping of the modern United States.
The Ulster Museum – Northern Ireland’s principal museum – has become one of Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions since reopening last year following a multi-million pound rejuvenation. As well as a phenomenal visitor response to the new-look museum, the quality of the Ulster Museum was further recognised this summer when it was awarded the UK Art Fund prize - one of the most prestigious museum prizes in the world.
These award-winning museums collectively known as National Museums Northern Ireland have achieved international recognition and UK acclaim for their outstanding visitor offering, education programme and care of collections.
Northern Ireland Tourist Board
A Titanic Signature Project has been prioritised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board for a programme of investment to establish Belfast as a ‘must see’ visitor destination around the world. It will promote Belfast as the home of the Titanic, and celebrate the city’s maritime and industrial achievements over the last century through promotion of its stories and development of the wide range of Titanic and maritime heritage assets.
The Titanic Signature Building (TSB) is a key component of this project. This £97m visitor attraction is funded by both the private and public sector, with NITB project managing £43m of NI Executive investment. This is a key element of Belfast’s Titanic experience and is currently under construction in the Titanic Quarter, the city’s new £7bn waterfront development which, when finished, will be bigger than London’s Canary Wharf.
Currently using the working title ‘Titanic Belfast’, the Signature Building will be iconic in design and impact and will house a world-class visitor attraction. The exhibition will tell the story of the construction of Titanic, her maiden voyage, and sinking, but will also celebrate Belfast’s shipbuilding and maritime heritage. It will be Northern Ireland’s largest and most successful built visitor attraction with nothing in the region to rival it in terms of such scale, originality and innovation. It will open in spring 2012 to mark the centenary of the Titanic’s maiden voyage in April 2012.
Capable of handling in the region of 900,000 visitors per annum, including up to 400,000 visitors to the exhibition, the building will be located at the head of the slipways, where the Titanic was built, in the heart of the Titanic Quarter. It will house a number of exhibition galleries, a banqueting suite and conference facilities, community and education space and catering and retail outlets.
NITB is also involved in the development and promotion of a number of other authentic Titanic and maritime heritage assets, including
This £1.2 million restoration project has been completed. NITB administered just under £1m through its capital grant programme, the Tourism Development Scheme. This is where the Titanic received her final fit out and is a truly authentic and unique site which tells an important part of the Titanic story.
The SS Nomadic, tender ship to the Titanic, is the last remaining vessel afloat built for the White Star Line. It was relocated to Belfast’s Hamilton Dock, Titanic Quarter, in July 2006, and is being restored with help from NITB funding to be opened by Spring 2011.
- Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices
This iconic building, whose images are recognised around the world as the place where the Titanic was first crafted on paper, should be fully restored by 2012. Various exciting plans are being considered including development of a five-star boutique hotel.
- Titanic and Olympic Slipways
The slipways will be developed as public realm around the Titanic Signature Building by 2012 and will be one of the largest public spaces developed in Belfast in the last 50 years.
- Lagan Legacy - MV Confiance
Part-funded by NITB, the MV Confiance, a barge moored at Lanyon Quay on Belfast’s historic River Lagan, will be open in autumn 2010 as Belfast’s first maritime museum, arts space, heritage gallery and cafe.
NITB contributed £500,000 towards the Tall Ships 2009 event for the development of infrastructure around the port including pontoons & moorings. This investment will help to secure maritime events in the future as well as assist the development of the current tourism offering such as mooring and river access to key heritage sites.