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Tourism NI Holds Inaugural Giant Spirit Awards

By Dave Simpson

Tourism NI has held its inaugural Giant Spirit Awards at the Slieve Donard Resort.

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Tourism NI’s inaugural Giant Spirit Awards, which have replaced the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards, were sponsored by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

Janice Gault, CEO of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, picked up the Giant Spirit Award, in recognition of her contribution to the tourism and hospitality industries over the last number of years. NI’s Most Promising Student Award went to Jordan Sloan of Titanic Hotel Belfast.

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Tourism NI’s newly appointed chair, Ellvena Graham, commented, “I congratulate everyone who has been shortlisted for this evening’s awards. They have all come through a great deal and continue to contribute so much to our economy. I am a passionate advocate of tourism’s potential when it comes to job creation and economic impact. This industry does really make a difference, and it can contribute more through even greater partnership and collaboration.”

Speaking about wider issues, Graham added, “I know the cost of doing business is another huge challenge at present for our industry, but we are known for our resilience, and I know we will come through this, too. While there is plenty more to be done, we have a fantastic product to offer, and I am confident about the future and very much looking forward to the task ahead.”

Also speaking at the awards, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said, “It is only right that we should celebrate the resilience and ingenuity shown by the tourism industry over the last two and a half years. We are also turning to the future, and I am encouraged that closer-to-home markets are performing well and our international markets are starting to recover, however, I know that value for money will remain extremely important in the months ahead.

“The attraction of world-class events, along with continued investment in our tourism infrastructure at home and standout marketing and promotion activities, will be central to delivering our desire to develop Northern Ireland as a leading tourism economy.”

The chairman of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Michael Savage, said, “Newry, Mourne and Down Council were delighted to sponsor these prestigious awards, and it really has shone a light on the amazing tourism and hospitality industry partners that are in the Newry, Mourne and Down region, and indeed throughout Northern Ireland.

“Congratulations to everyone who had been shortlisted and received awards. The resilience displayed by our tourism and hospitality industries has never been more evident than over the past two years. I am extremely proud of the invaluable contribution they make to our community and welcoming visitors to the Newry, Mourne and Down region, and Northern Ireland. The Giant Spirit Awards have provided an opportunity to celebrate all these individuals, businesses and initiatives, and recognise their efforts.”

© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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