The Titanic Signature Building, now known as Titanic Belfast, is one of the most exciting tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. It's a must for history buffs and anyone fascinated by the story of tTourism Ireland

The Titanic Building in Belfast is to feature in the new UK passport that will be phased into circulation from December 2015 onward.

The redesign of the passport focuses on many of the main figures and famous landmarks from Britain and Northern Ireland throughout the last 500 years entitled "Creative United Kingdom". It features historic people, places, events and achievements from the last five centuries such as Stephenson's Rocket, the world's first modern steam locomotive; the Angel of the North statue, the London Underground and Edinburgh Castle.

It also features cultural festivals such as Caribbean carnivals and Chinese New Year with a security watermark of playwright William Shakespeare on every page for heightened security.

Featuring the Titanic Belfast building on the passport is a nod to the prominent early 20th century ship-building industry in the Northern Ireland capital, forever to be known for the construction of the world’s most famous ship - the Titanic.

The tragic RMS Titanic was born out of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, constructed on Queen’s Island (which is now known as the Titanic Quarter) and taking 26 months to build.

READ MORE: How to get an Irish passport. 

Titanic Building to the bottom left of the page. Image: UK Passport Office.

Titanic Building to the bottom left of the page. Image: UK Passport Office.

In 2012, the Titanic Building was opened in its memory, the world’s largest and most comprehensive Titanic visitor experience and a museum on Belfast’s maritime history. It quickly became one of Belfast and Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions.

Since opening three years ago, 2.5 million visitors from 145 countries have visited the center generating close to $230 million (£105 million) for the tourism industry in Northern Ireland and sustaining around 893 jobs a year.

The building will feature on the “brilliant buildings” page in the passport alongside a map of Belfast and a shamrock motif to celebrate the UK’s historic and modern architecture.

Titanic Belfast Chief Executive, Tim Husbands MBE, told Belfast Live, “We are delighted to be included in the new UK passport design. Having welcomed over 2.5 million visitors from over 145 countries and with over half a million visitors’ naming it as their main reason to visit Northern Ireland, there is no doubt that Titanic Belfast has become the landmark image for Belfast on a local, national and international level.

“We continue to see a year-on-year increase in visitors from Great Britain and are very proud to represent Northern Ireland in the new passport.”

The new passport, however, has come in for some criticism, especially from female members of UK parliament who have branded the new design as sexist, and from Scottish people, who have expressed dismay that not a single Scottish person was featured.

Throughout the 34 pages of the passport, there are seven English men celebrated: Shakespeare, artists John Constable, Anish Kapoor and Sir Antony Gormley, architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, computer pioneer Charles Babbage and inventor of the marine clock, John Harrison.

In comparison, just two women feature in the design given a seal of approval by UK ministers; architect Elisabeth Scott who designed the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, and mathematician Ada Lovelace.

Since the new design was unveiled earlier this week by UK Minister for Immigration James Brokenshire in Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London, the British government has been accused of “airbrushing” women out of history in spite of the eligible candidates such as Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters for them to chose from

Sam Smethers, chief executive of the gender equality campaign group the Fawcett Society said that the seven to two ratio was "completely unacceptable".

"Instead of being celebrated and remembered, great British women are being airbrushed out of history,” she said.

"They could have included the first feminist and writer Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Virginia Woolf, Bridget Riley - the list is endless."

The Passport Office, however, has defended the design arguing that it was never their intention not to include women in the new passport and suggesting that they could not please everybody with whatever final decision they made.

Director General of the Passport Office, Mark Thomson, said: "It wasn't something where we said 'let's set out to only have two women.'"

"In trying to celebrate the UK's creativity we tried to get a range of locations and things around the country to celebrate our triumphs over the years, so there we are.

"Whenever we do these things there is always someone who wants their favourite rock band or icon in the book.

"We've got 16 pages, a very finite space. We like to feel we've got a good representative view celebrating some real icons of the UK - Shakespeare, Constable and of course Elisabeth Scott herself."

Some Scottish people have also questioned why no Scots are featured among the nine individuals chosen.

“New UK passport design seems to omit Scotland and Scots” tweeted Stewart Stevenson, the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) Member of the Scottish Parliament for Banffshire and Buchan coast.

Despite the criticism faced about its design, the UK Minister for Immigration announced that the latest UK passport is "the most secure that the UK has ever issued".

"The UK passport has an international reputation as a trusted and secure travel document, and we work tirelessly to stay one step ahead of the criminals who attempt to abuse the UK's immigration laws," he said.

Thomson also stated: "This is the most secure passport we have ever produced. Try forging this - it's going to be very, very difficult indeed.

"I think this is good enough to make someone just not bother. We think it's pretty damn good."

A new passport design is used on the UK passport every five years. The planning for this design began two years ago as part of a 10 year, $600 million (£400 million) contract.

READ MORE: Why the Irish passport is among most powerful in the world.