Since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland has witnessed a dramatic economic resurgence. The tourism industry has flourished, bringing large-scale investment and unprecedented numbers of overseas visitors to the city. In recent years the tourist industry has been predominantly shaped by two key historical events; the legacy of the Titanic, the ill-fated ship that was built in the Belfast docks and the ‘Troubles’, a 40 year period of violent conflict whose resonances can still be keenly felt throughout Northern Ireland.
In 2012, the new Titanic Belfast Centre opened its doors, attracting 800,000 visitors in its first year. This staggering flow of tourists to the city has been propelled by the recent upsurge in cruise liners now docking into Belfast. Many of these boats let loose over 3000 tourists a day and often there are as many as three boats a week. Elsewhere in the city, more grass roots industries have developed with the rise of ‘Troubles Tours’ taking in some of the key locations and political murals from the bloody days of the conflict. Belfast Exposed have commissioned Martin Parr to make a new documentary project on Tourism in Belfast.