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Many say Belfast already is accustomed to a kind of tourism far more ghoulish than the Titanic tragedy - the so-called “Troubles tourism.”

Mr. Gibson said he, too, was skeptical about Titanic Belfast until he saw a preview of the attraction in December. Besides, history can’t be ignored, he said.

“It really is impressive,” he said. “If I go to Berlin, I’ll want to see the Wall memorials.”