Today’s Irish Newspaper Headline Touts Ban on Titantic Stairway Visits Staying in Place!
Newspapers in Northern Ireland today announce that the ban on visits to the location of the reproduction of the Titanic’s iconic stairway at the Titanic Belfast permanent exhibition will remain in place. They built the stairway in their banqueting area which means that the only people who will get to take advantage of a photo op on or in front of the stairway are those who have receptions and/or events in that area of the Titanic Belfast museum attraction.
The American architect who designed the building announced on TV last week that the stairway would be open to all visitors, even those who didn’t buy an admission ticket. That caused a major broohaha because “it just ain’t so!’ Today, the attraction’s management reaffirmed that the iconic stairway will only be available to a select few who have an event at the place.
I was told that when there are no events in the banqueting area there may be, on a case by case basis, the opportunity for some to see the stairway. I can understand why the folks that made the investment, the MAJOR investment, in building this homage to the Titanic don’t want to have every pair of feet that enters the building cavorting on the stairway but I can tell you that if you want that photo op on the Titanic stairway you can go to either the Titanic attraction in Branson, Missouri or the one in Pidgeon Forge, Tennesse, both owned by the visionary, John Joslyn, who clearly understand the attraction of visitors to want to have a photo taken in front of the stairway.
So I had 2 potential solutions for the Titanic Belfast exhibition which evolved into 6 suggestions:
1) Direct people, in small groups, to where the stairway is and allow those traveling together, couples, families, small groups, to enter the area where the stairway is if the events area is not in use.
2) Allow only official photographs taken by your photographer and charge for the photo, as is done on cruise ships and other tourism attractions, which will act as another profit center (or should I say profit ‘centre’) and limit the experience to those with the discretionary pounds sterling to invest in the photo.
3) Limit access to those taking photos to the first 2 steps of the stairway for their photo op.
4) Consider selling a special additionl ticket to see the stairway which includes the souvenir photo. There is precedent for this at so many attractions worldwide.
5) Consider creating a High Tea experience in the banqueting room which includes the souvenir photo. This could extend the use of the banqueting room on days when there are no events, boost the value of the user’s experience and draw a variety of groups that want to visit the attraction and enjoy High Tea in the presence of the stairway.
6) And, for those who can’t, don’t want to, or won’t spend the additional monies or while you are getting your act together to offer any of the above suggestion, consider making a huge photo mural of the stairway, building 2 steps that sit on the floor in front of the photo mural, creating a queue area for people to line up for a photo in which they are standing on the bottom one or 2 steps, depending on how many are in their group and have your professional photographer and/or allow visitors to snap their own photos. Once photographed, like the photos of models on a beach in a magazine which are taken in front of a photo mural of the beach and some sand thrown around the studio floor to simulate the beach, the end result will look like the people in the photo were standing on the actual stairway.
For such a creative and positive new offering in Belfast, Titanic Belfast shouldn’t be seen as giving with one hand and taking back with the other.
By the way, I’ll send you my invoice for this consultation in the morning! Right now, I’m off to Giant’s Causeway, on to Solis Lough Eske in Donegal, making my way to Mount Falcon in Foxford, County Mayo and on from there to Lahardane to attend the memorial service for the Titanic victims and survivors who came from that wee little town and nearby Addergoole.
Will keep you posted so stick with me.. . we’re going to have such fun together today!
--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host