Cause to celebrate: travel bible names the North as its top holiday hotspot
Belfast and the coast surrounding the Giant's Causeway have been named the number one region in the world to visit next year, according to travel bible 'Lonely Planet'.
The Northern Irish tourist attractions have beaten the likes of Alaska, the southern United States and Italy's Aeolian Islands, among other bucket-list destinations, to claim top spot.
Belfast is "full of hip neighbourhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all tastes", it says, "while the rusting old docklands are now the vibrant Titanic Quarter, home to fancy apartments and a sensational museum".
The Causeway Coast's "timeless beauty and high-grade distractions - golf, whiskey and some of the world's most famous rocks - are more popular now than ever", it said.
Belfast and the Causeway Coast have made huge progress as tourism destinations in recent years, thanks to a host of new restaurants and hotels, a weakening pound, and the cultural steamroller that is 'Game of Thrones' - much of which is filmed in Northern Ireland.
The region is also home to Northern Ireland's only Unesco World Heritage Site in the Giant's Causeway (pictured).
'Lonely Planet' suggests travellers "take a black taxi tour to discover the political legacy of the Troubles, before heading north for golf on the stunning Portstewart links, food at nearby Harry's Shack, and of course, a visit to the Giant's Causeway".