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Belfast is a city that never stands still. With new hotels and attractions as well as a new £175m Belfast transport hub due to open in 2023, the city of Belfast has created a formidable offering for international and national business travellers. This week the Lonely Planet named Belfast and the Causeway Coast the Number One Region in the world to visit in 2018.
Last month the Titanic Hotel, Belfast's newest four star deluxe-hotel, became the latest addition to the city’s growing hotel portfolio. Originally the legendary Harland & Wolff headquarters and spectacular Drawing Offices, the hotel boasts 199 rooms and valuable artefacts for Titanic fans – including the telephone exchange, which received the first communication of Titanic hitting the iceberg.
Another authentic Belfast story about to be brought to life in the form of an 80-bedroom city centre hotel is the Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballing legend, George Best. Each of the rooms in the George Best Hotel will tell a unique story of the football hero by individuals that knew him. It is anticipated the new hotel will open within the next year.
And the Belfast experience keeps getting bigger and better! Business travellers can now explore Belfast's exciting story at the new £1.3m exhibition located at one of the most iconic visitor attractions in the city - Belfast City Hall. The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the city’s past and present, covering the political, cultural, economic and social life of Belfast.
The exhibition stretches over 16 separate rooms, all presented within the original architecture of City Hall as designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas in the late 1890s.
With a growing number of visitors coming into the city a state-of-the-art transport hub, which is due to open in 2023, will provide increased coaching and train capacity. Business travellers will enjoy enhanced bus and train connection to all parts of Northern Ireland and the main rail link to Dublin.
The new hub will be located in the heart of Weavers Cross, a dynamic new city centre neighbourhood which is also being developed as part of the programme.
Belfast is changing and business travellers can expect a much bigger city experience. The city’s energy and dynamic nature is now reflected in a new Belfast brand recently launched by Belfast City Council. The logo represents Belfast city’s footprint and will help promote the city on a global stage.
Last but not least...Belfast and the Causeway Coast have been named the Number One Region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet – coming in ahead of places like Alaska, the Languedoc-Roussillon region in France and the Aeolian islands in Italy. The leading travel media company unveiled the accolade this week in the prestigious Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 – its collection of the world’s hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the coming year.
Belfast is described in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2018 as "full of hip neighbourhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all tastes. The rusting old docklands are now the vibrant Titanic Quarter, home to fancy apartments and a sensational museum”. Belfast shares the accolade with the Causeway Coast, "whose timeless beauty and high-grade distractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world's most famous rocks – are more popular now than ever”.
So see you in 2018!