VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar competition recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry.
Run in partnership with the Mirror newspaper, the campaign celebrates those working in the industry who go the extra mile to ensure tourists in England have an amazing and unforgettable visitor experience.
Our winner this year is Geoff Colvin, Chief Stationmaster at the Kent & East Sussex Railway!
Congratulations to Geoff! Find out more about him below.
Geoff Colvin, Chief Stationmaster, Kent & East Sussex Railway
To his colleagues at Tenterden Town Station, Geoff is the definition of a Tourism Superstar, delivering a high quality visitor experience and contributing to improving the running of the business as a whole.
Since joining K&ESR as a volunteer at the start of the pandemic, he quickly proved to be a dedicated and inspirational team player and communicator, with a dedication to helping visitors.
For example, when the station welcomed a number of travel group organisers who were travelling to Bodiam as part of a 1066 Country two-day tour of destinations in The Weald, one of the visitors with mobility issues got separated from the rest and missed the train. Geoff immediately realised there was a chance for her to rejoin the group if he drove her to the next station. He duly did so and she was able to be reunited with her colleagues and carry on with the tour thanks to his kindness and quick thinking. Having taken on a station master role in 2021, he was made Chief Station Master at the beginning of this year.
Luke Henshaw, Classic Vehicle Restoration Apprentice, Great British Care Journey, Peak District & Derbyshire
Luke Henshaw joined Great British Car Journey (GBCJ) as a Classic Vehicle Restoration Apprentice in March 2021. Aged just 17, Luke was GBCJ’s first apprentice and the first Heritage Skills Apprentice in Derbyshire. He has been developing skills which will ensure the future preservation of historic British vehicles at Great British Car Journey, and is well on his way to being an asset to the classic car industry and future custodian of the UK’s automotive design and manufacturing heritage.
Dave Paynter, Reserve Manager, WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Cotswolds
During his 40 years working for the WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Dave Paynter has made an enormous contribution in driving the creation, restoration and management of a wide variety of wetland habitats at the centre. His work connecting visitors to the wildlife spans both experiences and events, as well as online features on YouTube, radio and TV including Countryfile, making conservation an accessible subject, inspiring people to take action for wetlands.