The trouble with Belfast…

For a time, Troubles Tourism (subs needed) did its fair share in attracting the world to its doors. However, according to the New York Times the weekend before last, it’s not up to scratch for the modern tourist. The Belfast Telegraph took up the gauntlet with Mary FitzGerald’s interview with Alan Clarke, head of Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Its leader went on to argue, that a multiplication in domestic flights into both Belfast airports requires movement beyond old strategies.

Getting some decent signs to the National Trust’s Divis and Black Mountain walks would help augment the offering. The views over Belfast Lough and Lagan Valley are stunning, but you’d need to be local to find them without risking a massive detour – via Glenavy, or even worse, the International Airport!

  • Two Nations

    improve Belfast as a tourist spot?

    tackle the swarms of spides that infest the city centre day and night would be a great start.

    I watched a group of spides standing at McDonalds shouting paki at a tourist (who was clearly Italian) sitting on the opentop tourbus. Of course no police about, so these people had free reign to do whatever they wanted.

  • merrygoroundoflove

    Three words: Draconian Licensing Hours

    they can forget the 20 and 30something market until they got that old chestnut sorted…

  • crow

    I had 30 friends from Liverpool come over to Belfast for a stag night and they had a great time(should read a very drunken time).Not one of them had a bad word to say about the city.In fact a few local people they had got talking to in the Crown said they were very glad to see people coming over and enjoying themselves.

    I know this is not the ideal kind of thing (stag nights and the like) for tourism but it is a start.

  • Slugfest

    Two Nations:

    What’s a ‘spide’? I keep seeing that word on this blog. Is it a fairly new word? I don’t remember hearing it the last few times I was in Belfast.


    yOUD be amazed at what a difference a few flowers would make–no seriously I have an estate agent friend that swears by it and insists that you know the old first impression thing–well he recons that it ups the value of a house by 10%.

    First on the agenda for Belfast though is the spides–they have to go–Tourists are just not interested in being hasseled by dirtbags for cigs and change.

  • martin

    I believe a rough translation would be trailer park white trash–in the jerry springer sense of the word—you got it right

  • Thomas

    I am amazed that Alan Clarke has not yet been sacked for his comments over Eastern Europe migrant workers:
    “Tourist Board chief executive Alan Clarke suggested that a surge in people coming from eastern and central Europe and the Far East to work in Northern Ireland’s hospitality industry could harm the Irishness “brand”. He said: “Irishness is a brand, if all the staff are from eastern Europe it dilutes the brand. That is something we are concerned about.” (Belfast Telegraph 20 June 05)

  • martin

    Mick, no pruning needed Im going to get back to the flowers in Belfast city discussion–no lads seriously there is nothing that makes a place look friendly and hospitable as a lot of brightly blooming flowers–

  • Slugfest


    May I assume it’s what Americans (myself included) call a ‘dirtbag’ — young, adolescent – early ’20s, spends his days hanging out on the corners spitting on the streets and using foul language?

  • La Dolorosa

    “….could harm the Irishness “brand”. .. now we have reached the thin edge of the wedge – talking about national/regional identities etc as brands just like The Gap, M&S etc…..

  • Dandyman

    Check it out boyyyz:-)

    Spide is mentioned here anyway, but ‘scanger’ & spide are the sasme thing, just different slang. Same as ‘chav’ in UK as well.

    (Sorry I don’t know how to activate the link as I’m a bit of a luddite – yez’ll have to cut & paste)

  • Alan McDonald


    Those scangers look just like my son!

  • Thomas

    Another article about Tourism in Belfast, this time in the Christian Science Monitor.