Theme parks are rubbish, monuments just so passé, and historical landmarks are, well, old hat. No, for a really good tourist attraction these days you can’t beat a mock-up of a giant ocean liner that took more than 1,500 people to their icy deaths.
At least, that’s what the tourists seem to be saying, as the World Travel Awards have named Titanic Belfast Europe’s top travel destination – surpassing even the Eiffel Tower.
Located at the exact spot in Belfast where the real Titanic was constructed, the exhibit is essentially a huge museum designed to look like the doomed ship's four hulls and interior, with replicas of its cabins and other original features, with more artefacts, photos, and artwork than you can shake a deflated lifejacket at.
It’s been visited by over 3million people since opening in 2012 – on the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s sinking – with visitors so far including the Queen and Titanic director James Cameron. There’s also an interactive tour of of the museum, though visitors will be spared the interminable sound of Celine Dion warbling in the background.
The attraction was voted for by hundreds of thousands of industry professionals and members of public, and marks a period of renewed tourism boom for the Northern Ireland capital – partly helped by the number of Night’s Watch wannabes who travel there to visit Game of Thrones filming locations.
When it come to tourist attractions, you could call Titanic Belfast "King of the World". Ahem.