Tourism Superstar

Our annual Tourism Superstar competition recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry. It is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have an unforgettable experience.

Run in conjunction with our partner, the Daily Mirror, the campaign champions careers in tourism (for people of all ages) and promotes quality, customer service and excellence within England’s tourism industry. 

Meet our 2017 winners

1st place

Congratulations to Duane Dibartolomeo, owner of the Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich - the winner of this year's #TourismSuperstar!

Duane DibartolomeoDuane was nominated by Visit Norwich who said: If being a superstar is about the personality, the level of service and going the extra mile to make a queue feel like an event, then Duane should definitely be nominated for this award. As for the fish and chips well they are legendary too!"

Duane said: "WOW! I am absolutely delighted to win this award. Thank you. I have such a fantastic time in the Fish Bar talking to all our customers and chatting about how great Norwich is and how to enjoy the best of the city - it doesn't feel like a job!

I am totally overwhelmed by the support from our customers and want to officially thank everyone for taking the time to vote. I especially want to thank the team at VisitNorwich who were always right behind me, talking on social media - drumming up votes - they did a fantastic job. Norwich is a wonderfully friendly, welcoming and beautiful city and I hope that in part this award helps encourage more people to visit to come along and visit."

A Miami native and long-time New Yorker, Duane brings America's famed excellent customer service approach to Norwich, welcoming each and every customer to his fish bar with wit, warmth and open arms. His warm, larger than life personality makes every customer feel the most important and, as well as entertaining the queue, he is full of informative information about the town itself, advising customers on what's happening in the area, where to shop and what to see.

Read his interview in the Daily Mirror.

Second place

Paul Schofield

Congratulations to Paul Schofield, City Tour Guide in Hull, our second place runner-up.

Paul was nominated by Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, who said: "Paul is an unassuming but dedicated hero and ambassador of Hull and East Yorkshire. His contribution to tourism is immeasurable because of the sheer volume of visitors and number of tours he has delivered.”

A freelance English Heritage Accredited guide, Paul Schofield has worked for 28 years sharing his knowledge and expertise with visitors to Hull. His talks cover everything from architecture to the abolition of slavery, the historic pubs to the part Hull played in England’s history and truly reveals his pride and passion for the city he loves. Paul’s welcoming friendly nature, enthusiasm and genuine belief in Hull and the East Yorkshire region makes Paul the only double winner of the ‘Remarkable Yorkshire Passion Award’ at the Visit Hull & East Yorkshire Tourism Awards.

Third place

Leye D. JohnsCongratulations to Leye D. Johns, Host and Compere, Viva Blackpool, our third place runner-up.

Leye was nominated by Marketing Lancashire, who said: "With tireless commitment Leye has in four years built audiences to 50,000 visitors, brought much needed jobs to local people and helped support many local charities that are close to his heart.”

Leye started his working life in the NHS but as a natural showman, what had been a second job as a live entertainer, took a more serious turn when he and a co-investor set up Viva Blackpool. The initiative saw the transformation of a large empty Mecca Bingo Hall into a one room entertainment and events complex, dedicated to providing year round quality, live entertainment for Blackpool’s many visitors. With a huge variety of in-house production shows, visiting performers and Leye as resident compere, Viva has become the talk of the town, for all the right reasons.


Meet all our 2017 finalists

Top l-r: Gemma Garwood, Falmouth Town Crier, Cornwall; Peter Jay, Volunteer, Cotswold Water Park Trust, Wiltshire; Liz Hill, Founder, Rural Concierge, Herefordshire; Kevin Robson, Tour Guide and Owner, Wild Dog Outdoors, Northumberland; Jane Carver and Gill Scotford, Accessible Derbyshire, Peak District and Derbyshire;

Bottom l-r: Karl Gibson, Landlord, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Notts; Alan Anderson, Park Ranger, Auckland Castle, Durham; Paul Schofield, City Tour Guide, Hull (2nd place); Leye D. Johns, Host and Compere, Viva Blackpool, Lancs (3rd place); Duane Dibartolomeo, Owner, Grosvenor Fish Bar, Norwich (winner).

Watch the finalists' video.

Congratulations to Duane, Paul and Leye, and thank you to everyone for taking part!