During the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, travellers were more inclined to visit London, leaving many cities around the United Kingdom with significantly lower numbers of visitors. While this was expected, a recent report shows that, surprisingly, hotels in Belfast have experienced the highest rates of occupancy this year since 2006.

The report says that the city’s hotels have had a successful year due to the opening of the 97 million pound Titanic Belfast, an advanced interactive museum chronicling the history of the ship. It was expected that the so-called ‘Titanic effect’ would bring in around 450,000 visitors to the city, but by the beginning of September, just six months after the grand opening, Belfast found itself with over 500,000 visitors, not to mention a revenue growth of more than 20% for the January-August period.

It was reported that the opening in March alone left hotels with the biggest occupancy growth for that month in ten years. In addition, hotels received an impressive 12 % year-on-year rise in revenues.

The month of April, which marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship, saw an occupancy growth of 25 % in 38 of Belfast’s leading hotels. Added to this, the overall revenue and revenue per available room was 45 % higher than it was in the previous year.

It was also reported that guest houses and bed and breakfasts had been enjoying a profitable period as well. Many claimed that the amount of rooms sold had increased 15 % over the course of the year.

While Belfast’s hotel industry continues to savour the rise in hotel occupancy rates, hoteliers agree that the success they’re experiencing is not unshakeable. Bill Wolsey, who owns the city’s five-star Merchant Hotel, told the Belfast Telegraph that lack of ‘political stability’ and more events like the murder of prison officer David Black could quickly leave hotels with a drop in business.