Another 'Titanic' night for tourism sector at Enniskillen Castle

Titanic Belfast's chief executive Tim Husbands and sales and marketing executive Assumpta O'Neill collect the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award from Tourism NI chairmanTerence Brannigan (right) and Diageo's Jorge Lopes against the backdrop of Enniskillen Castle. Photo: Brian Morrison

THE north's tourism industry has recognised its finest in a new venue - but yet had a familiar overall winner.

Scores of the sector's most inspirational individuals, businesses and organisations banqueted in Enniskillen Castle, themed around local Gaelic chief 'Hugh the Hospitable' Maguire.

And the Diageo-sponsored Tourism Northern Ireland Awards threw up a well-recognised name to received its Outstanding Contribution to Tourism gong.

That honour went to Titanic Belfast, which earlier this year was named as the World's Leading Visitor Attraction.

The other of the night's special recognition honours went to David Wilson of Royal County Down Golf Club, who was 'Local Tourism Hero'.

Tourism NI chairman Terence Brannigan, said: “We're fortunate to have such a range of outstanding people, places and organisations who contribute to and invest so much in our industry. These awards provided the opportunity for everybody to see and congratulate their efforts.

“What we have seen in terms of best practice, innovation and creativity emphasises the positive outlook for tourism and its potential to grow the local economy.”

Jorge Lopes of Diageo NI added: “This initiative serves to highlight the breadth and depth of our tourism and hospitality offering."

The winners were:

:: Outstanding Visitor Experience - The MAC Belfast for David Hockney: I draw, I do 2016 Exhibition

:: Customer Service Excellence - The Bushmills Inn Hotel & Restaurant

:: Hotel of the Year - The Bushmills Inn Hotel & Restaurant

:: Non-Serviced Accommodation - Blessingbourne Estate

:: Serviced Accommodation - Blackrock House B&B

:: Unique Tourist Accommodation - Finn Lough Forest Domes

:: Best Marketing Initiative - Lough Neagh Partnership, Eel-Eat

:: Sustainable Tourism Award - Marble Arch Caves Unesco Global Geopark (Fermanagh & Omagh District Council)

:: Tourism Innovation Award - Atlantic Sessions, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council/Snow Water Partnership

:: Most Promising New Tourism Business - Bishop's Gate Hotel

:: Best Food Tourism Experience - Browns Restaurant

:: Best Event or Festival Experience (by public vote) - Ulster Rugby vs Clermont Auvergne, Ulster Rugby

:: Local Tourism Hero - David Wilson, Royal County Down Golf Club

:: Outstanding Contribution to Tourism - Titanic Belfast

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