Our very own Emily Hope is this year’s Durham Tourism Superstar!
Emily, who works at Beamish’s Entrance, was announced winner of the public vote at Visit County Durham’s annual Summer Garden Party held at Beamish Hall Hotel yesterday (24th July).
Emily said: “I’m incredibly honoured and genuinely humbled to be crowned Durham Tourism Superstar. There’s nothing I love more than putting on my costume and I take great satisfaction in being able to share my knowledge to enhance visitors’ experience.”
Emily, Project Officer: Entrance Development, is responsible for making sure that Beamish’s 764,000 annual visitors enjoy an exceptional experience from the moment they arrive at the museum.
The Tourism Superstar winner is also a Dementia Friends Champion and has trained more than 100 Dementia Friends among staff, volunteers and community members, to help make a difference to people living with dementia and their families.
Durham Tourism Superstar, run by Visit County Durham, working in association with the Northern Echo, aims to showcase the best in customer service.
The three other shortlisted finalists were Angela Pickering, volunteer at Tanfield Railway, Leanne Jeffrey, General Manager of The Kingslodge Inn, and Gary Lintern of Gary Lintern Photography.
Ivor Stolliday, Chairman of Visit County Durham, said: “The competition is a wonderful way to recognise those individuals working tirelessly in the tourism industry. All of the finalists are incredible and each act as ambassadors for our county, we should all be extremely proud of them. It’s a privilege to crown Emily as Durham’s Tourism Superstar 2018”.
Michelle Gorman, Managing Director of Visit County Durham, said: “We congratulate Emily on winning this award. Emily embodies the shining star qualities that make her a worthy winner of Durham Tourism Superstar and truly enhances the visitor experience. It’s people like Emily who really make Durham shine”.
Emily continues Beamish’s Tourism Superstar success. Matthew Henderson, Remaking Beamish – Engagement Development Officer, was the first Durham Tourism Superstar in 2014 and went on to be named national winner of VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar in 2015.
Dorothy Carlyon, who was Town and Pit Life Team Leader, was a finalist in last year’s Durham Tourism Superstar and Anthony Gales, Head of Site Support & Security, was a runner-up in the national Tourism Superstar Award in 2013.
Emily will now be nominated by Visit County Durham for the national Tourism Superstar 2019 shortlist, organised by VisitEngland.
Last year’s winner, Richard Darlington from Hall Hill Farm, made it to the national Tourism Superstar 2018 finals in association with VisitEngland and The Daily Mirror.
Durham Tourism Superstar was launched in 2014 to unearth the unsung heroes of tourism in Durham. It recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors have an experience to remember. Businesses are asked to nominate their superstars and the winner was chosen by a public online vote, hosted by The Northern Echo.