People are the lifeblood of the hotel industry and to celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) recognised 20 hotel heroes at a special awards ceremony in the Observatory at Grand Central Hotel, Belfast on September 10.
The excitement was palpable as the heroes were welcomed by host Pamela Ballantine and their significant contribution to the industry was recognised.
“As an organisation, we felt it was fitting to celebrate our people,” said Gavin Carroll, president of the NIHF. “They are unique and it is their individuality that gives our industry its personality. We know that the commitment of our staff and the passion that they have for the industry ensures that guests have a great stay. We were delighted with the response and we had a diverse range of nominations.
“The industry has grown dramatically over the last two decades and our staff remain central to our success. We asked members to nominate someone within their business who has really made a difference. The person may have been performing a valuable ‘back of house’ role or meeting customers each day. Either way their contribution has been noted as enhancing the overall hotel experience.”
The 20 hotel heroes received an individual trophy on the night and have been invited along as guests to this year’s Hospitality Exchange which takes place on October 15-16 in Crowne Plaza Belfast.
“The hotel sector has changed dramatically over the last twenty years,” said Carroll. “The number of hotel rooms has doubled. We increased jobs by 100% and the roles that we have to offer have diversified. It is important that we attract more people into the industry and it is therefore imperative that we increase awareness of the opportunities available.
“The excellent careers that we can provide in hotels and the wider hospitality industry need to be recognised and celebrated. Image has been an issue for the sector for some time. We are keen to play our part in addressing any misconceptions and highlighting the opportunities a career in hospitality presents.”
For further information on NIHF, log onto www.nihf.co.uk and for Hospitality Exchange log onto https://hospitalityexchange.org.uk/
NIHF Hotel Heroes 2019: AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast, Lynsey Guest, HR manager; Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Paul Sharkey, executive chef; Causeway Hotel, Davy McMaster, kitchen porter; City Hotel Derry, Clare Campbell, guest services manager; Corr’s Corner Hotel, Martin Toner, general manager; Europa Hotel, Martin Mulholland, head concierge; Everglades Hotel, Sean Kavanagh, kitchen porter; Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, Linda Graham, setup manager; Hilton Belfast Templepatrick, Sophia Beattie, housekeeping supervisor; Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre, Valerie McFadden, housekeeper; Jurys Inn Belfast, Katey Smyth, asst front office manager; Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges, Patricia Kavanagh, accounts manager; Malone Lodge Hotel, Louise Tinsley, reception supervisor; Merchant Hotel, Paula Stephens, director of sales; Millbrook Lodge Hotel, Patricia O’Hare, restaurant supervisor; Silverbirch Hotel, Alana McCauley, head receptionist; Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Nora Hanna, business manager; Stormont Hotel, Phil McCartan, accommodation services manager; Wellington Park Hotel Belfast, Malachy Toner, general manager; and White Horse Hotel, Emma Davis, reservations manager.