The city of Durham has triumphed for a second time in VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar competition. This year’s winner was Lilian Groves, senior guide at Durham Cathedral, who won the competition with 22 per cent of the total votes cast. Tourism Superstar celebrates the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have a memorable experience.
Working as a senior guide at the cathedral in the heart of Durham, Lilian has volunteered there for the last 25 years. Now in her eighties, she is an experienced guide with a wealth of knowledge who regularly leads guided tours for the public and notable stars. This is the second consecutive Tourism Superstar win from Durham, which triumphed last year with winner Matthew Henderson, who works at Beamish Museum.
This year, Rose MacInnes, Visitor Centre supervisor at Plymouth Gin Black Friars Distillery in Plymouth, came second and Rachel Duffield, learning and engagement officer at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse in Norfolk, was close behind in third place.
Held for the first time this year during English Tourism Week, VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016 revealed 16 winners earlier in a ceremony held in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and hosted by VisitEngland’s chairman Lady Cobham and VisitBritain’s director of marketing, Joss Croft.
Notable winners included the University of Manchester’s Whitworth art gallery, which won large visitor attraction, Rockcliffe Hall in Darlington, which won the large hotel award, Liverpool City Council, which won for Memories of August 1914, Liverpool, in the best tourism event category. Yorebridge House in Bainbridge, North Yorkshire, won the award for the best small hotel, Trevose Harbour House in St Ives, Cornwall, won for best B&B, Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Whitechurch, Hampshire, won for the best small visitor attraction, Eckington Manor in Worcestershire won the Taste of England award and the Fleece Inn in Bretforton, Worcestershire won the accolade of best tourism pub.