Northern Ireland Tourism Awards – it’s ‘Oscars’ time

Tourism and hospitality businesses from across Northern Ireland are being urged to enter the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of the industry – to celebrate their achievements.

The most hotly anticipated awards event in the tourism calendar will take place on Thursday 26 May at St Columb’s Hall in Derry~Londonderry.

Over 300 tourism providers and industry stakeholders are expected to attend the glittering Tourism NI event, being held in association with title sponsor Tennent’s NI.

The evening will celebrate Northern Ireland’s greatest tourism successes over the past year, as well as looking forward to the opportunities in the 2016 Year of Food and Drink.

A total of 12 tourism awards are up for grabs, including Hotel of the Year, Best Food Tourism Experience of the Year and Best Marketing Initiative.

Stephen Finlay, Tourism NI’s Director of Corporate Development, says: “The Northern Ireland Tourism Awards in association with Tennent’s NI are about recognising the very best practice within the local industry and Tourism NI is keen to encourage businesses of all sizes and shapes to enter and attempt to win recognition for their hard work, success stories and professionalism.

“With the Year of Food and Drink initiative in full swing in 2016, much is going on behind the scenes to deliver excellent visitor experiences and to enhance Northern Ireland’s reputation as a foodie destination. These gala awards will offer businesses the opportunity to review their performances and identify their core strengths. Winning could be a matter of simply telling us how you have gone that extra mile to set your business apart from the competition. The potential prize for entering is a prestigious accolade for the quality of your products and services.”

Tourism NI has set up a website, to provide full details on categories and how to enter. The deadline for submitting entries is 5:00pm on Monday 22 February 2016.

Announcing his company’s title sponsorship of the initiative, Brian Beattie, Marketing Director for Tennent’s NI, said; “We are delighted to support Tourism NI with awards which identify and celebrate outstanding performance and achievement right across our dynamic tourism sector.

“The awards provide an important annual showcase for best practice, innovation and success and, in 2016, they will have particular significance as we mark Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink. As a leading Northern Ireland drinks company, working within the hospitality sector and firmly committed to its development and growth, we are keenly aware of the positive impact that will accrue from positioning our region as a destination for delicious food and drink and we will proudly play an active role in this ambitious venture.

“I look forward to presenting the Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism and for Customer Service Excellence at the Gala Final of the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards which this year will move for the first time to Derry, a city which has long been synonymous with great food and drink.”

Odhran Dunne General Manager of Visit Derry said;
“We are delighted to host the prestigious NI Tourism Awards for the first time this year during Tourism NI’s Year of Food and Drink. This presents a fantastic opportunity to showcase our unique historic and cultural tourism product offering to the industry’s leading professionals. We encourage all tourism providers to enter this year’s awards to celebrate Northern Ireland’s outstanding tourism products, creativity and innovation. The city was named as a runner up in the Foodie Towns Ireland awards and delegates will be treated to the very best of our locally sourced produce in the spectacular surroundings of the historic St Columb’s Hall. We look forward to welcoming the finalists in May and rolling out the red carpet for what promises to be a ‘LegenDerry’ evening”.