Published Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Is it worth the almost £100m spent building the tourist attraction? Will it get the number of visitors it needs?
Will we be reading an indictment by the Audit Office in a few years criticising over ambitious targets and unrealistic expectations?
You could argue that already the building has proved its worth by attracting around 25,000 visitors in its first week.
But I would not want to defend the project on those grounds. My view is that the sceptics sort of miss the point.
If we are to have a proper tourist industry we need top class attractions which are not dependent on the weather.
Just cast your mind back to Sunday.
It was wet and cold - as uninviting as Irish weather can be. What on earth could you do to amuse yourself?
I'll tell you what we did. Walk in the rain along the beach from Dundrum to Newcastle where we had something to eat in the Slieve Donard.
Bracing and ultimately quite enjoyable despite the conditions. But who is going to travel across the world to take advantage of that experience?
Indoor attractions in our climate are a must. We don't nearly have enough of them.
Titanic Belfast was not an option for Northern Ireland. It was essential.
If we didn't build it or something like it, we could not be taken seriously as an international tourist destination.
If the venue takes longer than expected to pay for itself, that would be unfortunate but of itself does not constitute a reason for not building it.
In fact even if Titanic Belfast never covered its costs, I would still maintain that it was necessary.