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Local tourism businesses need your vote!

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Eight businesses from the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area are asking for your support after being shortlisted for 2016 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards in association with Tennent’s NI.

The sought-after awards – which recognise outstanding performers in the tourism industry – will this year be presented over twelve different categories.

Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony to be held on Thursday 26th May at St Columb’s Hall, Derry – Londonderry. A shortlist of 37 has been drawn up by a panel of judges. Two additional special awards will be announced on the night for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism and a Local Tourism Champion.

The Bushmills Inn Hotel & Restaurant has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Visitor Experience award, Ballylinny Holiday Cottages is up for recognition in the Non Serviced Accommodation category, and Shola Coach House has been listed in the Service Accommodation category.

The Circuit of Ireland Rally is included in the shortlist for the Best Event or Festival Experience.

Up for an award in the Best Food Tourism Experience category is Tartine at Distillers Arms, the Finn McCol Campaign (National Trust) has been shortlisted in the Best Marketing Initiative category, Rocking Boat Trips, Causeway Seafishing Company is included in theTourism Innovation Award shortlist and Blackrock House Bed and Breakfast completes the local interest, up for an award in the Most Promising New Tourism Business category.

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan said, “It is fantastic to see the Borough so well represented in the shortlisting for the 2016 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards.

“I would encourage local people to show their support by taking two minutes to cast a vote for our local business providers and put them in the running for a prestigious award.”

A record number of entries were received from across Northern Ireland this year. Commenting on the shortlist John McGrillen, Chief Executive Tourism NI, said, “There’s no doubt these awards are the biggest night of the tourism industry calendar and this year we have the added value of St Columb’s Hall as our venue. Planning is well underway to make the evening a real celebration and a showcase of our tourism talent, particularly in the context of Year of Food and Drink”.

“The Northern Ireland Tourism Awards are about celebrating the very best practice within our industry.  Winning an award is an independent and prestigious accolade for a business’s tourism offering, professionalism and hard work.  It’s also a badge of quality that boosts PR and marketing efforts.

“Year in, year out, businesses of all types across the tourism industry strive to ensure that our visitors have a great experience, and so it is vital that the people, places and organisations that create these experiences are recognised and rewarded. Our annual awards ceremony is about celebrating the very best practice within our industry, and Tourism NI wants to encourage businesses of all sizes and shapes to succeed.”

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell said, “The Northern Ireland Tourism Awards are about celebrating all that is great within our tourism industry. The Northern Ireland tourism product has never been in a stronger position and we are well on our way towards reaching our long term goal to make tourism here a £1 billion pound industry by 2020. We have much to be proud of both in our tourism offering and of our tourism providers.

“It is the quality of our hotels, festivals and restaurants that attract visitors to Northern Ireland and these awards are about recognising the excellence within this industry and ensuring that hard-work and innovation are recognised. I would like to congratulate all of those who have been shortlisted in these prestigious awards and wish them every success on the night.”

To show your support for any of the local businesses, all you have to do is visit www.nitourismawards.com and click on the ‘view shortlist’ link to cast your vote.

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