VisitEngland has just announced the shortlist for Tourism Superstar 2016.
Launched in 2012 and supported by the Daily Mirror, the campaign recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry. It is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have an unforgettable experience.
Northumberland is represented by Alex MacLennan,Recreation & Public Affairs Managerfor the Forestry Commission in the North East, who is thrilled to be nominated:
"I am really humbled by being nominated into this competition, working in the Northumberland over the last decade has been a real pleasure so far, working in many collaborations with many partners and staff and being part of the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust.
For me it’s important to work behind the scenes on facility management, events and with our staff and wider partners ensuring our visitors and local people get the most from for me in what has to be the best county in England with stunning countryside, rich heritage and of course the largest forest in England!
Some of the highlights for me personally have been creating the largest mountain bike trail network in England (working alongside a great number of dedicated volunteers and contractors) to make this happen, working over 4 years to deliver the Northumberland Dark Sky Park Status and working behind the scenes on fantastic events like the Queen’s Jubilee at the top of Deadwater Fell, the Kielder 100 mile 1 lap mountain bike race and of course working with Steve Cram and the team on the Kielder Marathon Weekend each year, which is just fantastic to be part of ensuring we have a great event."
Lynn Turner, Director of Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said:
“Alex works tirelessly to put forest adventure at the centre of what makes Northumberland a fantastic tourist destination. He has championed mountain biking at Kielder Water & Forest Park, putting in hundreds of hours of his own personal time and boundless energy to make Kielder one of the best mountain biking experiences in England. He is a great advocate for the Park and I am delighted that he has been shortlisted.”
The Daily Mirror will host a short film of all Tourism Superstar nominees on Mirror.co.uk, and readers will be able to vote for their favourite an online public vote from 16th January.
The winner will be announced during English Tourism Week, which this year is being held on 5th - 13th March. They will be invited to accept their title at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.
Jude Leitch, Director of Northumberland Tourism, said:
“We are delighted to see Alex in the shortlist for Tourism Superstar 2016. A visit to Northumberland is an authentic experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere in the country. It is thanks to the untiring dedication of individuals like Alex which ensures people choose to return to Northumberland year after year.”
Other shortlisted superstars are:
Rob Beale – Boatmasterat Windermere Lake Cruises in Cumbria
Dr John Bevan - Chairman, The Historical Diving Society in Gosport, Hampshire
David Cameron-Young – Express Coach Driver at Oxford Bus Company, Oxfordshire
Rachel Duffield - Learning and Engagement Officerat Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse in Norfolk
Lilian Groves - Senior Guide at Durham Cathedral in County Durham
Rose MacInnes - Visitor Centre Supervisor atBlackfriars Distillery, Plymouth Gin in Plymouth
Aaron Orman - Travel Ambassador at Visit Isle of Wight Visitor Information Centre on Isle of Wight
Allison Prin – Pier Manager at City Cruises in Greenwich, London
Diana Rosset – Receptionistat Smiths Court Hotel in Cliftonville, Kent
Tracy Slator - Tour Guide at Oxford Castle Unlocked in Oxford