Belfast is quickly becoming one of the top places to visit in Europe for international travellers and thanks to a surge in tourist traffic Belfast can look forward to some exciting developments in 2018.
These include music festivals, unique hotel developments and an overdue revamp of the city airport. Check out four fabulous things Belfast will be looking forward to in 2018.
A significant rise in international tourism
In response to a massive growth in tourism that isn?t expected to slow, hotels in Northern Ireland will be making up to 1000 more beds available in the city.
That?s an increase of 25%.
Tourism Ireland has recognised the growth from emerging markets such as China and the US who are choosing Belfast as one of the top places to visit in Europe to explore its cultural and historical heritage.
Signature Living are pleased to be able to contribute towards the growing tourist economy of Belfast with three new and exciting hotels currently being developed in the city.
The Waring Hotel
Using the successful concept of Signature Hotel in Liverpool The Waring Hotel in Belfast will be a hub of fun and vibrant activity.
There will be unique themed rooms, on-site bars and restaurants on both the ground floor and rooftop space of the building, a rarity in Belfast city centre.
Catering for a certain type of guest who will be looking to experience the fun and vibrant nightlife of Belfast Waring Hotel rooms will sleep between from 2-16 people.
The Waring Hotel will blend seamlessly into the trendy Cathedral Quarter of Belfast and will be a place where guests can enjoy the very best of Belfast’s dynamic social scene.
The Lanyon Hotel
Signature Living are well known for their work with iconic, landmark buildings.
Taking a forgotten architectural masterpiece and restoring it to its former glory is one of the ways Signature Living have made their mark on the hospitality and tourism industry.
The Crumlin Road courthouse has been a longstanding piece of Belfast?s interesting past, forming direct links to some of the most memorable historic moments that have happened in the city.
Soon to be The Lanyon Hotel this stunning listed building will welcome guests into its halls and encourage them to begin their discovery of Belfast’s rich and interesting past.
The George Best Hotel
Currently, under development in one of Belfast?s most iconic buildings, The George Best Hotel pays homage to the favourite son of the city.
Signature Living will be respectfully restoring another stunning Grade B1 listed building into a luxury heritage hotel. The footprint for the successful Shankly Hotel in Liverpool will be followed to help create a haven for Best fans in the heart of Belfast city.
Not only will there be a wealth of George Best memorabilia on display, Signature Living are working closely with the Best family to ensure a unique look at the Belfast legends life and career is available to all visiting guests.
Nearly 250 beds will be available in these three new Signature Living hotels alone and Tourism Ireland executives have calculated a guest will spend around ?260.00 during a visit to Belfast with hopes for a 6% increase in 2018.
All in all, Belfast can expect to see further rises in international visitors coupled with higher spending in 2018 and Signature Living are looking forward to being a part of it.
BBC Biggest Weekend
As Glastonbury takes a break for the fields to recover, 2018 the BBC bringing the Biggest Weekend to cities all around the UK, including Belfast.
BBC Biggest Weekend will see some of music?s most well-known acts take over Belfast for two days of nonstop live music.
Titanic Slipways will serve as a temporary Glastonbury alternative and visitors to the city can expect to see performances from Beck, Manic Street Preachers and many more.
The aim of this spectacular music event is to bring the nation together in a celebration of live music.
Shows will take place in other major cities around the UK and will be streamed live online and on BBC Radio too.
Get your tickets for this amazing one-off Belfast event taking place in 2018.
?15 Million improvements to George Best Belfast Airport
As international tourism grows the need for a bigger better Belfast Airport becomes ever more apparent.
In 2018 ?15 million will be invested to make significant improvements to George Best Belfast Airport including expanding retail space by a third and increasing the food and drink sector by 25%.
This much-needed investment will more than double the existing customer space helping to accommodate a tourist traffic of over 2.5 million and double that over the next 2 years as Belfast is recognised as one of the top places to visit in Europe for international travellers.
Funds will also be used to improve the efficiency of security procedures for outgoing passengers and measures in the security centre as well as creating 40 jobs with security firm ICTS.
?As a rapidly-evolving city and as one of Belfast City Council?s key stakeholders, we are proud to play a part in supporting Belfast?s growth and in driving forward strategies to further enhance the city?s reputation on a global stage.?
Chief Executive of Belfast City Airport.
Belfast City Airport hasn?t seen investment like this for over 80 years and is confident that the improvements made are designed to reflect Belfast?s future and it?s continued presence on the global stage as a place of international interest.
Celebrating European Year of Cultural Heritage
Hoping to encourage individuals to explore the rich and diverse cultural heritage all around them The European Commission have designated 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
In Belfast, there is so much to see and do that involves discovering the rich and interesting past of the city as well a variety of cultures that exist in the Belfast today.
Belfast in on the map of international tourism and during 2018 the city will look forward to helping visitors discover the rich cultural heritage it is well known for.
Funds from Historic Environment Division, Tourism Northern Ireland and the Heritage Lottery Fund are joining forces to make the most of 2018 by using the European Year of Cultural Heritage to bring existing attractions to the forefront of tourists agendas.
Places such as the Giants Causeway and Titanic Belfast draw in visitors by their millions and these are just two of the cities major attractions that have made Belfast one of the top places to visit in Europe over the last few years.
Plenty of exciting events will be happening all over the city during 2018 and Belfast will be taking this marvellous opportunity to showcase their rich and diverse cultural heritage on a grand scale.
Being one of the top places to visit in Europe in 2018
2018 is due to be an exciting year in Belfast.
As a city that is expanding on all fronts and becoming a real contender for one of the top places to visit in Europe Belfast is upping its game.
Improving the visitor experience is key for 2018 and city organisations will be opening up visitor access to help them explore all there is to see in the city.
When completed The George Best Hotel will be a superb place to stay in Belfast city centre with luxurious group accommodation, a fabulous bar and restaurant and a massive collection of rare George Best memorabilia.
Stay up to date with George Best Hotel developments here and on all our social media channels.