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.
Now in its seventh year, Tourism Superstar recognises and celebrates those individuals in the tourism industry who go the extra mile to ensure tourists in England have an amazing and unforgettable visitor experience. Tourism Superstar nominees are passionate about where they work and the destination they live in and consistently set the bar high for the standard of service in England's tourism industry.
Meet our 2018 winner
Jim O’Reilly, Customer Service Advisor, Red Funnel Ferries, Southampton/Isle of Wight
Since 2014, Jim O’Reilly has taken what could otherwise be a forgettable moment in a customer’s travel experience and turned it into a memorable highlight.
While he has numerous loading duties around Red Funnel’s Southampton vehicle ferry terminal, he has become best known as “Jim the Dancing Man” for deploying his signature dance moves while directing traffic on and off the ferries.
Regular commuters to and from the Isle of Wight routinely show him their appreciation with a smile, wave, hello or a honk which he often reciprocates by giving them an extra special thumbs up and a bow. Overseas visitors often take to social media to share their experience, with thousands of compliments received via post-journey feedback forms.
Jim dances because he genuinely loves to make people smile. He is proof that when one puts their heart and soul into what they do, they can make an impact and be a superstar in even the most unlikely of places. It’s also a little known fact that Jim suffers from arthritis, yet he doesn’t let that hold him back. He credits his dancing for helping him cope, and is another example of his tenacity, commitment and sincere passion for creating moments that regular customers and visitors will remember and share.
Second place went to Sam Watling, Skatepark Manager, Revolution Skatepark and Climbing Centre, Thanet, and third place to Alicia Stabler, AKA Mad Alice, of the Bloody Tour of York, York.