Published on : Friday, May 25, 2018
In 1978, in the Troubles era when Northern Ireland was at par with Beirut as a tourist destination, the old NI Tourist Board held a bash in the Europa for recognizing industry heroes of the day.
But after four decades, the extraordinary strides made in the sector came under the spotlight last night at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards at the venue where they first started off.
The special anniversary event was organized by Tourism NI in association with Diageo NI, and was hosted by former BBC newsreader and Belfast-born Maxine Mawhinney.
This annual event has been recognized by hundreds of individuals and businesses over the years for their inspirational contribution to the tourism industry.
The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award went to the head of the Beannchor Group and Merchant Hotel owner Bill Wolsey, while a Tourism Hero Award went to Caitriona Lavery from Hastings Hotels, owners of the Europa.
The occasion was full of poignancy, featuring pictured and video clips of the 1978 event.
Winners included Titanic Belfast, which bagged the Best International Experience following its crowning as the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction, and the Museum of Free Derry, which lifted the Authentic NI Experience of the Year.
Tags: Belfast’s Europa Hotel