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Tourism NI Chairman Terence Brannigan congratulates industry’s finest

Dr Howard Hastings OBE picked up the award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism and pictured L-R are Terence Brannigan Tourism NI Chairman, Martin McGuinness Deputy First Minister, Stephen Meldrum Slieve Donard Resort & Spa on behalf of Howard Hastings , Arlene Foster First Minister, Brian Beattie Tennent's NI.

Tourism NI chairman Terence Brannigan recently congratulated the winners of the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards at a gala ceremony held in St Columb’s Hall Derry~Londonderry.

The 2016 NITA awards spanned 14 different categories and included two special awards.

County Londonderry outdoor adventure centre The Jungle NI won the Outstanding Visitor Experience of the Year, while the Circuit of Ireland Rally lifted the Best Event or Festival Experience title, decided by public vote.

Galgorm Resort & Spa scooped the Hotel of the Year award. In other accommodation categories, the winners were Blackwell House, which lifted the Serviced Accommodation award; Number 1 Barn Lane, the Non-Serviced Accommodation award; and the National Trust’s Crom Glamping Pods, which lifted the Unique Tourist Accommodation accolade.

In Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink the Best Food Tourism Experience award went to contemporary Bushmills restaurant, Tartine at Distillers Arms.

The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award was made to Dr Howard Hastings OBE, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels, and who held a widely praised six-year tenure as the chair of the former Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Mary Blake, a highly respected Tourism Development Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council lifted the Local Tourism Hero award.

Tourism NI Chairman, Terence Brannigan, said: “There’s no doubt these awards are the biggest night of the tourism industry calendar and both the awardees and this city have done Northern Ireland proud. I am confident that the best practice, the innovation and the creativity demonstrated tonight will underpin Tourism NI’s efforts to help move the industry on and indeed strengthen the local economy.”

“Brian Beattie, Marketing Director at Tennent’s NI, said, “Our congratulations go to an outstanding group of award-winners whose vision, hard work and enthusiasm are reinforcing Northern Ireland’s growing international reputation as a uniquely hospitable destination.  Derry did the sector proud, rolling out the red carpet with style and panache for a fabulous gala celebration of all that’s best in tourism and hospitality.”

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