Durham Tourism Superstar

The Durham Tourism Superstar initiative, run in conjunction with the Northern Echo and now in its 5th year, recognises the people working in the county’s tourism industry who go above and beyond to ensure visitors have an incredible experience.

The first Durham Tourism Superstar was announced in 2014 at Visit County Durham’s annual garden party, and the winner, Matthew Henderson (Engagement & Participation Assistant at Beamish Museum) went on to be crowned VisitEngland’s national Tourism Superstar.  The 2015 Durham Tourism Superstar, Lillian Groves (Senior Guide at Durham Cathedral), also received the national accolade. And Emily Hope, the county’s reigning Durham Tourism Superstar, has just been announced as VisitEngland’s national Tourism Superstar for 2019. Durham’s hat-trick of national success showcases how incredible Durham’s visitor welcome truly is. 
 
2016’s Durham Tourism Superstar winner Alan Anderson from Auckland Castle, and Richard Darlington from Hall Hill Farm (2017) both made the shortlist for VisitEngland’s national Superstar award. 
 

To recognise that some of the superstars that make a visit memorable may have four legs rather than two, animals (with an appropriate handler) can now be entered into the competition and be in with a chance of being named Durham Tourism Superstar 2019.

A selection of some fo the previous Durham Tourism Superstar Winner

Durham Tourism Superstars: (From left to right) Matthew Henderson, Richard Darlington, Lilian Groves, Alan Anderson, Emily Hope​

 

Voting is now open

Visit County Durham has announced a shortlist of five shining stars from Durham’s tourism industry who are hoping to become Durham Tourism Superstar 2019.
The annual competition, organised by Visit County Durham, is seeking to highlight the very best customer welcome offered to visitors to the county. Finalists were shortlisted by a panel of industry professionals following an open call for county-wide nominations.


The award, which is the sixth of its kind, recognises the dedication and passion of those working in Durham’s tourism industry, and will be awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to Durham have a memorable experience.


Michelle Gorman, Managing Director at Visit County Durham, said: “We’re pleased to announce the finalists for Durham Tourism Superstar 2019. The shortlisting process was extremely tough this year, but we’re delighted to showcase five individuals from across the county who demonstrate their dedication and passion for our tourism offer, making Durham such a great place to visit”.


The Durham Tourism Superstar 2019 finalists are: -

  1. Lilli Broadbent, Visitor Desk Assistant at Durham Cathedral
  2. Hannah Fawcett, Lead Visitor Assistant at The Bowes Museum
  3. Tori Goodall, Head Falconer at Walworth Castle Birds of Prey
  4. Brian Harvey, Volunteer Gardener at Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens
  5. Peter Robinson, Guest Experience Co-Ordinator & General Assistant at Crook Hall & Gardens

The winner of Durham Tourism Superstar will be announced at Visit County Durham’s annual Garden Party, which will be taking place at Hallgarth Manor in July 2019. The winner will then be entered into the national Tourism Superstar award, organised by VisitEngland. Three Durham Tourism Superstars have already gone onto national success.

Voting closes at noon on Friday 5 July.

 

 

 

Lilli Broadbent

Lilli Broadbent, Visitor Desk Assistant at Durham Cathedral

Lilli loves working behind the busy visitor desk, ensuring the first point of welcome for visitors is one they will remember.   She enjoys helping visitors make the most of their experience, explaining the exciting things to see and do within our beautiful cathedral that is steeped in history and spirituality.

Living with the effects of having bone cancer as a child every day, makes her feel luckier to work in a job she loves.

During her time at the cathedral her highlight was walking with the Durham Cathedral banner, which she helped to create, during this year’s Durham Pride parade.

Hannah Fawcett

Hannah Fawcett, Lead Visitor Assistant at The Bowes Museum

Hannah didn’t realise she loved dealing with people until she started in her front of house role. She always greets and treats visitors the way she would like to be.

She tries her best to make everyone’s day a little better, whether that’s smiling at visitors, listening to the team to ensure they’re happy or squeezing some last-minute children to see Santa, who’s trip to Lapland was cancelled. 

She wants everyone to enjoy visiting The Bowes Museum.  “I can’t believe I’ve been shortlisted for Durham Tourism Superstar – I just do my job!”. 

 

Tori Goodall

Tori Goodall, Head Falconer at Walworth Castle Birds of Prey

Described as an amazing host, who loves her job, Tori’s aim is to ensure that every visitor has a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they meet the birds. She ensures that all visitors are personally welcomed, made aware of the centre facilities, and answers any questions raised in a fun and informative way. 

She is keen to promote tourism across the area and has developed her own promotional handout.  She has a tireless and passioned commitment to the visitors and receives great customer feedback from customers. 

 

Brian Harvey

Brian Harvey, Volunteer Gardener at Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens

90-year-old Brian is an active member of the volunteer gardening team. He originally arrived as an 11-year-old school boy and has had a constant relationship with Ushaw since then.

He cares passionately about his role and is at the forefront of activity and interactions with visitors.  He’s happy to answer questions, discuss new planting and provide information on future plans.

When asked why he still does this and doesn’t just sit with his feet up - he says he has always considered Ushaw his home.  

 

Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson, Guest Experience Co-ordinator & General Assistant at Crook Hall and Gardens

Peter is a retired schoolteacher who first came to Crook Hall as a volunteer in 2016. One of the things that attracted him was his love of photography, and the opportunity to take some beautiful pictures in the gardens.

After being identified as a wonderful asset to the team, he was offered a permanent roll in May 2017. It takes Peter a full hour and a half to get to work on the bus which shows how dedicated he is.

Peter is happiest when he is making other people happy and is admired by both colleagues and visitors.

Timescale

 

Durham Tourism Superstar 2019 launch

 

 

April 2019

 

Closing date for nominations

 

 

 Friday 14th June 2019 

 

Shortlist announced

 

 

Week commencing Monday 17th June 2019

 

Online voting open on The Northern Echo website

 

 

Week commencing Monday 17th June 2019 until Friday 5th July 2019

 

Winner announced at VCD Garden Party

 

 

10th July 2019

 

If you have any queries relating to Durham Tourism Superstar please contact Lucy Wearne lucy.wearne@visitcountydurham.org or by telephone on 03000 261225

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