Hook Light­house wins tourism prize in Lon­don

New Ross Standard - - NEWS - By DAVID LOOBY

THE TEAM at the 800-year-old Hook Light­house are cel­e­brat­ing as the tourist at­trac­tion was pre­sented with ‘ highly com­mended’ in the ‘Best Tourism Project in the UK and Ire­land 2018’ award cat­e­gory by the British Guild of Travel Writ­ers at their an­nual World Tourism Awards cer­e­mony which was hosted on Satur­day at the Savoy Ho­tel in Lon­don.

The award-win­ning global travel writer and guild mem­ber Is­abel Con­way nom­i­nated Hook Light­house dur­ing the sum­mer.

Hook Light­house was the only Ir­ish at­trac­tion to be short­listed for the award. Since that ini­tial nom­i­na­tion, the at­trac­tion has un­der­gone a rig­or­ous judg­ing process by the British Guild of Travel Writ­ers.

In Septem­ber Hook Light­house re­ceived the news that the venue and tour ex­pe­ri­ence had been short­listed for the pres­ti­gious British Guild of Travel Writ­ers world tourism awards 2018. It was se­lected as a fi­nal­ist and was one of three at­trac­tions and projects that made it to the best tourism project in UK and Ire­land award stage. Only Guild mem­bers can nom­i­nate tourism at­trac­tions and des­ti­na­tions for the an­nual awards and the fi­nal stage of the awards judg­ing saw Is­abel show­case the light­house at­trac­tion to her peers via a video pre­sen­ta­tion which was cap­tured dur­ing one of her vis­its to the light­house.

Within the video, Is­abel show­cases the vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence at the me­dieval light­house and urges her fel­low guild mem­bers to vote for the at­trac­tion be­cause it is ‘world-class, unique and de­serves fur­ther recog­ni­tion’.

At­tend­ing the awards cer­e­mony in Lon­don and speak­ing from the event, man­ager of Hook Light­house Ann Wa­ters said: ‘We are just thrilled. The en­tire team at Hook light­house are ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing a top qual­ity vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery vis­i­tor from en­sur­ing fun for the lit­tle ones to shar­ing the lo­cal knowl­edge and his­tor­i­cal in­sights and her­itage of the 800-year-old light­house.’

She said: ‘ This is a real team award. We have been work­ing hard on de­vel­op­ing new prod­uct ex­pe­ri­ences and trav­el­ling to trade tourism events shar­ing these with global tour op­er­a­tors for the last 18 months, this work is re­ally pay­ing off and this hugely high pro­file award will cer­tainly help in this area now too. As an at­trac­tion with a 100 per cent eco and sus­tain­able tourism pol­icy, it is re­ally won­der­ful to wit­ness a global guild of travel writ­ers show­cas­ing di­verse at­trac­tions from all over the world which will en­sure a greater ex­pe­ri­ence for vis­i­tors whilst also see­ing a move away from over-pop­u­lated tourism des­ti­na­tions too.’

Ms Wa­ters and the team used the oc­ca­sion to show­case Hook Penin­sula as part of Ire­land’s An­cient East.

The high pro­file awards cer­e­mony is al­ways hosted in Lon­don on the eve of the an­nual tourism event ‘World Travel Mar­ket’ which was at­tended by the Hook Light­house team.

Ms Con­way said: ‘As a longterm mem­ber of the guild I am well aware of how dif­fi­cult it is to even be short­listed for one of these awards and what it means for an at­trac­tion so I am just de­lighted for all of the team at Hook Light­house. Hook Light­house is a world-class and unique at­trac­tion; this is some­thing which I wanted to show­case as part of my nom­i­na­tion and it is won­der­ful to see this recog­nised took by my peers from across the globe.’

Hook Light­house is presently com­menc­ing a three-year devel­op­ment plan with Fáilte Ire­land and Wex­ford County Coun­cil, fur­ther striv­ing to de­velop its vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence of­fer­ing within Ire­land’s An­cient East.

Hook Light­house event man­ager Ann Wa­ters with British Guild of Travel Writ­ers chair­man Alas­tair McKenzie.

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