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Sunday, 17 February, 2002, 10:29 GMT
Royal yacht sails past visitor target
Royal Yacht Britannia, at Leith
The Royal Yacht has now moved to a new berth
The one millionth visitor to the Royal Yacht Britannia has been welcomed on board, two years ahead of schedule.

The former floating palace of the Royal family now operates as a five-star visitor attraction in Edinburgh's new Ocean Terminal.

Bosses responsible for the upkeep of the vessel say they believe she will play a major part in the Queen's golden jubilee this year.

They hope the jubilee will encourage more tourists, from both the UK and overseas, to visit the attraction.

We are hopeful she will continue to be a huge draw

Bob Downie, director of The Royal Yacht Britannia
The Royal yacht has been berthed in Edinburgh since she was decommissioned in 1998.

The vessel moved to the new Ocean Terminal development last October.

A further deck level that includes a sick bay, the Royal Marines' Barracks and the Petty Officers' Mess, was opened to the public for the first time to mark the move.

Since the vessel moved location there has been a 15% increase in visitors compared with the same time the previous year, bosses say.

Bob Downie, director of The Royal Yacht Britannia, said he hoped the vessel would continue to prove a "huge draw" for tourists from all over the world.

Golden jubilee

He added: "I am absolutely delighted that our move to Ocean Terminal has been such a success.

"We are hopeful she will continue to be a huge draw, particularly with this being the Queen's golden jubilee year."

Britannia was brought to the Scottish capital by Forth Ports PLC in 1998 following more than 40 years service to the Royal family.

She is now owned by a charitable trust and has become one of the UK's leading tourist attractions.

The vessel was voted best new visitor attraction in the UK in 1999 and was awarded the coveted five-star rating of the Scottish Tourist Board last year.

See also:

19 Oct 99 | Scotland
Britannia makes big tourism splash
19 Aug 98 | UK
New life for Britannia
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