Tourism NI today unveiled the shortlist of nominations for the 2016 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards in association with Tennent’s NI.
The sought-after awards, which recognise outstanding performers in the tourism industry, will this year be presented over twelve different categories.
Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony to be held on Thursday 26th May at St Columb’s Hall, Derry~Londonderry. A shortlist of 37 has been drawn up by a panel of judges. Two additional special awards will be announced on the night for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism and a Local Tourism Champion.
A record number of entries were received from across Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the shortlist John McGrillen, Chief Executive Tourism NI, said:
“There’s no doubt these awards are the biggest night of the tourism industry calendar and this year we have the added value of the unique and historic venue of St Columb’s Hall as our venue. Planning is well underway to make the evening a real celebration and a showcase of our tourism talent, particularly in the context of Year of Food and Drink”.
“The Northern Ireland Tourism Awards are about celebrating the very best practice within our industry. Winning an award is an independent and prestigious accolade for a business’s tourism offering, professionalism and hard work. It’s also a badge of quality that boosts PR and marketing efforts.
“Year in, year out, businesses of all types across the tourism industry strive to ensure that our visitors have a great experience, and so it is vital that the people, places and organisations that create these experiences are recognised and rewarded. Our annual awards ceremony is about celebrating the very best practice within our industry, and Tourism NI wants to encourage businesses of all sizes and shapes to succeed.”
Brian Beattie, Marketing Director for Tennent’s NI, added;
“We are thrilled to continue our support for the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards which are recognised as a highlight of our tourism year, encouraging and rewarding excellence and highlighting the vital importance of tourism as a major and fast-growing contributor to the Northern Ireland economy. This year we are particularly looking forward to taking the grand gala awards ceremony to Derry-Londonderry this year and we look forward to a night which celebrates our region’s unique sociability.
“On behalf of all of everyone at Tennent’s NI may I extend sincere congratulations and best wishes to all who have made it to this year’s shortlist. We are very well aware of the passion and hard work which lie behind every entry and you all deserve your moment to shine.
“First-class products, service and events will all be honoured at the awards but, above all, we honour the first class people who are making tourism happen today.”
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell said:
“The Northern Ireland Tourism Awards are about celebrating all that is great within our tourism industry. The Northern Ireland tourism product has never been in a stronger position and we are well on our way towards reaching our long term goal to make tourism here a £1 billion industry by 2020. We have much to be proud of both in our tourism offering and of our tourism providers.
It is the quality of our hotels, festivals and restaurants that attract visitors to Northern Ireland and these awards are about recognising the excellence within this industry and ensuring that hard-work and innovation are recognised. I would like to congratulate all of those who have been shortlisted in these prestigious awards and wish them every success on the night.”
Best event or festival experience will be opening for public vote until Thursday 12th May. To vote for your favourite, or to book your place at this year’s awards, please visit www.nitourismawards.com
Northern Ireland Tourism Awards Shortlist 2016
Outstanding Visitor Experience Sponsored by Tourism Ireland
Crumlin Road Gaol
Mount Stewart, National Trust NI
The Jungle NI
Customer Service Excellence Sponsored by Tennent’s NI
Bushmills Inn Hotel & Restaurant
Marketplace Theatre & Arts Centre
Hotel of the Year Sponsored by First Trust Bank
Galgorm Resort & Spa
Slieve Donard Resort & Spa
The Merchant Hotel
Non Serviced Accommodation
Ballylinny Holiday Cottages
Dunamoy Cottages & Spa
Number 1 Barn Lane
Shola Coach House
Unique Tourist Accommodation
Crom Glamping Pods, National Trust NI
East Coast Glamping
Best Food Tourism Experience
Tartine at Distillers Arms
The Bar + Grill at James Street South
The Old Schoolhouse
Best Marketing Initiative
Finn McCool Campaign, National Trust
Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Festival, Derry City & Strabane District Council
Monster Manor Event, W5
Sustainable Tourism Award
Green Tourism Programme, Newry, Mourne & Down District Council
Sustainable Development Fund, Loughs Agency
Tourism Innovation Award Sponsored by Derry City & Strabane District Council
Rockin Boat Trips, Causeway Seafishing Company
Twilight, Belfast City Council
We are Vertigo, Belfast
Most Promising New Tourism Business Sponsored by University of Ulster Ulster Business School
Belfast Food Tour
Blackrock House Bed and Breakfast
Walled City Brewery
Best Event or Festival Experience – Open to Public vote from Wed 27th April – Thurs 12th May via www.nitourismawards.com
Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival- Derry City & Strabane District Council
Circuit of Ireland Rally
Derry International Irish Music Festival – Culturlaan Ui Chanain
Irish Game Fair & Fine Food Festival- Country Lifestyle Events (CLE) Ltd.
Van Morrison Live on Cyprus Avenue – Eastside Arts