They lined up for tickets in 1912, and they are lining up for 2012 too.
Nearly 35,000 Titanic enthusiasts have already pre-ordered tickets to tour the new €108.1 million Titanic Quarter in the fast rejuvenating Belfast shipyards.
The interest in Titanic Belfast – 400,000 are expected to pay a visit in its first year – emerged as its operators last week marked 100 days until the North’s largest ever tourism project opens its doors, the Irish Examiner’s breakingnews.ie website reported.
The eye-catching Titanic visitor attraction building, which is made up of 3,000 aluminum panels shaped like the liner’s hull, has been built on the spot where the ship was launched in 1911.
The center will welcome visitors two weeks ahead of commemorations across Belfast to mark Titanic’s sinking, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives, on her maiden Atlantic voyage in April 1912, the report stated.
“The wait is nearly over. In just 100 days from now Titanic Belfast will officially open its doors to the world and Belfast can finally begin to reclaim its place at the center of one of the most captivating global stories in history.
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“Interest in Titanic Belfast has been building steadily for years now, but there has been a massive surge in recent months, with enquiries and group bookings from across the world arriving with us on a daily basis,” Claire Bradshaw, head of sales and marketing at Titanic Belfast, said.
“Worldwide interest in the Titanic story is huge and we have already secured nearly 35,000 visitors through pre-booked tours and over 100 event bookings at the Titanic Suite.
“Tickets are also selling well online, with buyers from Australia, the U.S., Canada, Germany and Spain having already purchased tickets. They will be among the 400,000 plus visitors we expect to attract in our first year, 110,000 of who will be out of state, placing Belfast very firmly at the forefront of global tourism.”
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Titanic Suite, which is atop the new building, is now taking bookings for weddings and other special occasions.
The fifth and sixth floors of the building replicate the Titanic’s first class banqueting room, complete with the famous sweeping grand staircase, made newly famous by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1997 James Cameron movie, “Titanic.”