Tourism NI has published the shortlist of nominations for the 2019 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards, in association with Diageo.

The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on Thursday 30th May in the Georgian splendour of the Palace Demesne, Armagh.

Tourism NI reveals shortlist for 2019 NI Tourism Awards
©Press Eye/Darren Kidd

The prestigious awards recognise and reward outstanding performers in the tourism industry from across the country over the last twelve months. Categories include Best Use of Digital Technology, Best Hotel stay, Best International Experience and Tourism Entrepreneur.

Commenting on the shortlist, Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen said:

“This year marks the 41st year of the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards ceremony and we are delighted to showcase very best practice within the industry. The tourism industry presents a huge opportunity for our economy in the years ahead and standards are rising rapidly to meet the needs of a diverse range of visitors from around the world”.

“It is important that we recognise businesses and individuals who have delivered outstanding tourism experiences and have contributed to the £2.9 million spent every day by visitors to Northern Ireland. I congratulate all nominees and look forward to celebrating their success on 30th May.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Cllr Julie Flaherty, said

“Sincere congratulations to all those businesses, initiatives and events that have been shortlisted for the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2019.  We are looking forward to the awards and to welcoming everyone to the Palace in Armagh to celebrate the many achievements and well-deserved accolades”.

Speaking at the launch of the awards in January, Paddy McKenna, Commercial Manager for Diageo Northern Ireland, commented;

“These Awards are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the individuals, businesses and initiatives who have proven to be significant economic drivers for the Northern Ireland economy at a time when we really need it. “

The shortlist, below, includes nominations that are contesting in more than one category.

Authentic NI Experience of the Year – Site Based

Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council – Antrim Castle Gardens

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council – Armagh Georgian Festival

RSPB Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre

Authentic NI Experience of the Year – Tour, Trail or Immersive

Armagh Cider Company

Causeway Coast Foodie Tours – Catch and Sea Tour

DC Tours      

Best Digital Marketing Campaign

Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism – Seasonal Digital Marketing Campaign

Nerve Centre – Derry Halloween

W5 – Dinosaur Encounter

Best International Experience of the Year

Derry City and Strabane District Council – Derry International Hallowe’en Festival 2018

National Trust NI – Giant’s Causeway Visitor Experience

Odyssey International – ITA Leaders of Excellence

Best NI Event or Festival Experience

Balmoral Show – Royal Ulster Agricultural Society

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2018

Féile an Phobail – Féile 30 – A Community Celebration of Global Culture

Best Use of Digital Technology to Improve the Visitor Experience

Belfast City Council – Hello Maritime Mile

National Trust – Introduction of online timed ticketing system for Carrick-a-Rede

Most Promising Authentic NI Event or Festival Experience

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council – Armagh Food & Cider Festival

Open House Festival Bangor

Outdoor Recreation NI – Giants Causeway Coast Sportive

Stendhal Festival

NI Food & Drink Experience of the Year

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council – Armagh Food & Cider Festival

Country Lifestyle Exhibitions (CLE) Ltd. – The Food Festival

Hughes Craft Distillery – Distillery Gastropub & Gin School

NI Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year

Sean McLaughlin – Fullerton Arms Hotel

Gareth Murphy – We Are Vertigo

Keith Reilly – Montalto Estate

Albert Titterington – Country Lifestyle Exhibitions (CLE) Ltd.

NI’s Best Guesthouse / B&B Stay

Baytree Boutique B&B

Peartree Hill B&B

Rooms at Rue

NI’s Best Hotel Stay

Bishop’s Gate Hotel

Bullitt Hotel

Bushmills Inn

NI’s Best Self Catering Stay

Ballygally Holiday Apartments

Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel and Lodges

Larchfield Estate

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