Nominations are now closed for VisitEngland's annual Tourism Superstar competition which recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry.
2022 will be the tenth year for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar competition. Run in partnership with the Mirror newspaper, the campaign recognises and celebrates those in the industry who go the extra mile to ensure tourists in England have an amazing and unforgettable visitor experience. And this year the competition will also recognise the amazing efforts made by teams across the industry in the face of the pandemic.
Congratulations to George Finlay, Farm Supervisor at Matlock Farm Park, Peak District and Derbyshire, who is the winner of this year's Tourism Superstar!
Nominated by Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire. What they say:
"As Farm Supervisor, George is someone who truly goes above and beyond his job to ensure that all visitors have the best experience possible at Matlock Farm Park, a rural visitor attraction in the Peak District & Derbyshire. With his beaming smile and friendly approach, he greets visitors with the warmest of welcomes and ensures they enjoy an amazing day out. Despite being just 22 years old, George is a great team leader and an inspirational role model for the whole farm team, motivating others with his knowledge and strong work ethic.
"George was the driving force behind the creation of weekly Facebook Live broadcasts and YouTube videos, to engage followers and provide virtual, interactive experiences – enabling people to feel like they were part of what was happening at the farm park as well as getting other team members involved and helping boost their confidence in front of the camera. Additionally, helping to boost the park’s recovery when it was able to safely reopen.
"When the park was closed during Covid restrictions, George remained dedicated to ensuring animals were well cared for and carried out his duties with enthusiasm, sometimes in full snow; clearing pens to improve access for some animals and making himself available to help with births at all hours – day and night!"
George: "I'm blessed to be doing a job that's so uplifting to so many people."
Congratulations to Dorian Deathly, Deathly Dark Tours, York for winning second place!
Nominated by Make It York/ Visit York. What they say:
"Dorian has worked as a tour guide for over seven years in York and always dreamed of starting his own ghost tour. When the pandemic hit, he lost his job and as a way to keep sane, began to livestream his walks around the city at night, telling ghost stories onto his Facebook page for free. These tours gave people a moment of distraction, the chance to re-connect with friends and families, brought York back to those who were missing the city and created a community of like-minded people. The tours have attracted a large number of fans all over the world, and currently has over 10,000 likes on Facebook alone, with many fans planning to visit the city in the future.
"Late in 2020, during the second lockdown Dorian was suddenly taken ill, with headaches and dizziness and frequent trips to the hospital. Despite this, he had a passion for his work and went straight back to the livestreams as soon has he felt ready. The success of Dorian’s virtual tours created a lot of interest in the city, so much so that in August 2020 he was able to launch his own real-life walking tour (with reduced capacity to ensure public safety) and now runs 4 nights a week for up to 50 people!"
Dorian: "During the pandemic we started live streaming the tours on Facebook allowing people the opportunity to visit my most magnificent city."
Congratulations to third place winners, The Story of London team, London Walks, London
Fiona Lukas, Russell Nash, Karen Pierce Goulding, Adam Scott and Simon Whitehouse
“They contributed to the 451 podcasts London Walks has put out since that first Lockdown which have been listened to over 100,000 times. They were instrumental in recently creating a cuts-a-dash London Walks Newsletter that already has 2,500 subscribers.
Week of 20 December 2021: Judging panel meets to select the 10 Tourism Superstar 2022 finalists.
3 January 2022: Successful finalists (individuals and teams) as well as respective DMOs and businesses are informed they are in the top 10 and that filming will start week commencing 4 January 2022.
Between 4 January - 4 February 2022: The 10 finalists will be filmed either in London or in their local area for the Mirror website – members of the public will then be able to watch the videos and cast their votes. The films will also be shown on VisitEngland corporate and social channels.
14 February - 22 March 2022: voting opens for Tourism Superstar 2022 Drive on the Mirror website.
26 March 2022: Mirror to announce winner in Saturday’s edition.
The winner of VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2022 will be invited to attend and receive their award at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2021 ceremony in the first half of June 2022 (exact date and venue TBC). Nigel Thompson, Travel Editor at the Mirror and Reach Plc, will present the award along with the reigning VisitEngland Tourism Superstar. Over the course of the year the Superstar winner may be included in other VisitEngland events.
Please bear in mind there may be some slight variations to some of these dates depending on circumstances outside of our control.
To qualify for Tourism Superstar 2022 the nominees must:
Work for a tourism business or organisation in England and continue to work for that organisation at the time of English Tourism Week.
Be knowledgeable and passionate about the destination they work in and happy to talk about the destination outside of their work remit.
Go above and beyond the call of duty to make the visitor experience memorable.
Be available and willing to travel to London or be on site at their workplace from 4 January-4 February 2022 to be filmed and happy for that film to be posted on the Mirror website for a number of weeks and used on VisitEngland’s social media channels as well as those of their DMO and employer.
Be available to attend the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022 ceremony.
Be aware that they have been nominated and are happy to participate in any related PR and media opportunities during or post the announcement of the winner.
The 10 finalists will be required to fill in and sign a waiver form to allow VisitEngland rights to the films created.
Previous winners must leave at least one year before applying again.
The winner will be invited to attend the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022 ceremony in June 2022 (exact details TBC).
See photos of previous winners below:
Top row: 2012 Alan Fiddler, North Shields; 2013 Claire Preece, Kent Caverns, Torquay.
"Tourism Superstar recognises those people who go above and beyond to make visitor experiences in England so special. Whether creating a memorable stay in a seaside hotel, adding a touch of showbiz to a tour or an attraction or making sure everyone’s needs are catered for, these individuals and teams truly go the extra mile in their roles as tourism ambassadors." Andrew Stokes, England Director