Tourism Superstar – You Decide!

14 October 2014

Marketing Lancashire today (Monday 13 October) announced the shortlist for the Lancashire Tourism Awards Tourism Superstar 2014. The award recognises and applauds individuals nominated by their tourism industry colleagues for their special contribution to tourism in Lancashire. 

Marketing Lancashire has teamed up with the Lancashire Evening Post who will host the online public vote.  The general  public will be able to vote from Monday 13 October online here until Monday 20 October with the winner announced at the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2014 being held on Thursday 6 November at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said, “The standard of nominations was extremely high and they are all fantastic ambassadors for the county. This award really celebrates the people who on a daily basis make a significant impact on the visitor experience in Lancashire.  It now comes down to a public vote and we urge the public to get behind the finalists and vote for their winner.  We wish all the finalists the best of luck and look forward to naming our Tourism Superstar at the Lancashire Tourism Awards.”

The Tourism Superstar finalists are:

Joanne Halliwell – Resident Witch at Samlesbury Hall
Joanne is the resident witch at Samlesbury Hall but you may have also spotted her at the Museum of Lancashire and the Judges Lodgings in Lancaster where she has entertained visitors in a variety of roles from a scullery maid to a scary witch. Joanne portrays a vivid character, which really brings history to life and provides a great visitor experience. Once a checkout assistant at a local supermarket in Preston she now dedicates her time to entertaining and enthralling visitors in a variety of character roles in some of Lancashire’s key historic attractions.
John Gillmore – Presenter, BBC Radio Lancashire
John or “Gilly” to his listeners, colleagues and guests is a respected broadcaster who has worked extensively in Lancashire for over 28 years. He has a genuine and unshakeable love of the county which is always evident in his shows and the warmth with which he conducts his many interviews. In recent months he has conducted numerous broadcasts outside the county and each time sort out Lancastrians and those who love talking about the red rose county. Gilly’s always promoting great Lancashire events and the people who make Lancashire the special place it is.

Ray Morgan – Toast Master, Preston Marriott Hotel
Ray has worked at the Preston Marriott Hotel for over 16 years during that time he has worked in a number of roles and then finally as the Conference and Banqueting Supervisor. During that time Ray acted as toastmaster when required but has now taken on the official role as the toastmaster for all Special Ceremonies at the Preston Marriott Hotel. Ray has a great enthusiasm for the hotel business and is a real advocate of Preston and all that Lancashire has to offer visitors. His wealth of knowledge, advice and lots of stories to tell has made him something of a 'local' celebrity. This has made him a firm favourite with visitors as well as brides and grooms drawn to the area because of his reputation.

Roger Carter – Chair of Bay Tourism Association
Roger has made a significant contribution to the visitor economy in Lancashire with a career spanning well over 30 years in the tourism and hospitality sector. Roger has been an accredited ‘Welcome to Excellence’ course tutor for many years driving customer service excellence across the county. In more recent years as the Chair of Bay Tourism Association he used his considerable skill and experience as well as time and put huge effort into successfully boosting tourism in the area.

Simon Entwistle – Top Hat Tours
Simon is an independent tour guide, who runs Top Hat Tours. Simon’s tours offer visitors to the county experiences with a difference from Guided Ghost Walks to Pendle Witch Tours and numerous tours around within some of the county’s most historic buildings from Samlesbury Hall to Towneley Hall and Browsholme Hall. Meeting with visitors on a daily basis Simon is a real advocate for Lancashire promoting the great and good with his passion, enthusiasm and vast knowledge of the county.

Sue Copp – Guest Services and Inclusion, Sandcastle Waterpark
Sue has worked at the Sandcastle Waterpark for 20 years, after retiring from a long career in the tourism industry, from working with donkeys on Blackpool beach to managing and running her own catering business in the resort. During her career at the Sandcastle Waterpark Sue has run the catering department, worked with the company Mascot – Bling the Monkey and most recently held the role as Guest Services and Inclusion Manager.  Sue continues to give above and beyond her day to day duties enhancing the visitors experience and making every guest feel special.  Colleagues within the industry describe Sue as a ‘great ambassador’ and ‘community champion’.

Following the public vote the top three will be invited to attend the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2014 being held on Thursday 6 November at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom where the ultimate winner will be announced. For more information and to view the list of this year’s finalists go to or follow #LTA14 on Twitter.

Please vote for your favourite from the list of six finalists here before the closing Monday 20 October.

For Media enquiries please contact:
Laura Crabb, PR and Communications Executive 01772 426 456
Anna Izza, Head of PR and Communications   01772 426 459

Photos of the Lancashire Tourism Awards Tourism Superstar Finalists 2014

Notes to Editors

1. Marketing Lancashire is the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for Lancashire, established (1st April 2012).   Our activities in marketing and communications, commercial membership and place marketing are all designed to grow the visitor economy and develop the profile of Lancashire as the first choice destination to visit, live, study, work and invest in.

In 2013 Lancashire attracted 63 million visitors who contributed around £3.5 billion to the local economy and helped support 56,137 jobs. 

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