Durham Tourism Superstar 2019 winner announced
Brian Harvey from Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens has been announced as the 2019 Durham Tourism Superstar by Visit County Durham.
The results of the public vote were revealed yesterday as part of Visit County Durham’s annual Summer Garden Party celebrations at Hallgarth Manor.
90-year-old Volunteer Gardener Brian has had an affiliation with Ushaw for over 80 years, first stepping foot into the estate as an 11-year-old school boy. The Durham Tourism Superstar winner is now part of the historic attraction’s volunteer programme, interacting and entertaining visitors by bringing Ushaw’s gardens and grounds to life.
Brian said: “It is a great honour for me to win Durham Tourism Superstar and represent Ushaw. I’m delighted to win this award and spread the word about Durham’s best kept secret. I think that all of the staff and volunteers who have transformed Ushaw into a tourist attraction are all superstars”.
Ivor Stolliday, chairman of Visit County Durham, said: “It’s a privilege to announce Brian as the winner of Durham Tourism Superstar 2019. The awards continue to recognise the incredible individuals who make Durham such a fantastic place to visit. Brian and all of the finalists are wonderful ambassadors for our county”.
Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, said: “We’d like to congratulate Brian on being crowned Durham Tourism Superstar 2019. His passion is admirable and the fact he’s dedicated 80 years of his life to showcasing Ushaw is remarkable. It’s people like Brian who really make Durham shine”.
Brian will now be nominated by Visit County Durham for the national Tourism Superstar 2019 shortlist, organised by VisitEngland.
Last year’s winner, Emily Hope from Beamish, The Living Museum of the North was crowned national Tourism Superstar 2019 in association with VisitEngland and The Daily Mirror.
Picture caption 1: Durham Tourism Superstar Brian Harvey, from Ushaw College with Visit County Durham Chairman Ivor Stolliday
Sophie Hardy, Communications Executive, Visit County Durham
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Notes to editors
Visit County Durham
Visit County Durham (VCD) is the Destination Management Organisation for County Durham working on behalf of businesses and public agencies. We came into being on 1 April 2006 and are a private, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, with a board of directors including an executive director. The company’s main funder is Durham County Council. The private sector also contributes financially to our work in return for benefits and activities that meet their needs.
Visit County Durham assists the county to fulfil its potential as one of North East England’s lead destinations, attracting visitors to the region from across the UK and from target overseas markets. Its objective is to ensure that the tourism sector performs to its maximum capacity and brings economic benefits to the county in the form of wealth and job creation. Its broad aims are to attract people to the area and to provide visitors with the best possible experience.
Durham Tourism Superstar
The Durham Tourism Superstar initiative, run in conjunction with the Northern Echo and now in its 6th 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, was 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.
The other finalists in no particular order include Lilli Broadbent, Durham Cathedral, Hannah Fawcett, The Bowes Museum, Tori Goodall, Walworth Castle Birds of Prey and Peter Robinson, Crook Hall & Gardens.
Published: 11, July, 2019