Our very own Oscar’s

Northern Ireland’s 2012 Tourism Awards (launched this week at the Grand Opera House) are getting all bling this year with a new on-stage ‘Oscars’ style ceremony on the 21st of May. And what a year to make the change, as by May, we’ll be mid way through a year that will shine a huge spotlight on tourism in NI. With the opening of Titanic Belfast, the brand new Giants Causeway visitor centre, the Irish Open, Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and hundreds of other celebrations and commemorations there is a lot going on in 2012.

Laura McCorry, NITB Director of Corporate Development said, “Having come so far in the tourism industry over the last five years and with so many investment projects supported by NITB coming to completion in 2012, this is our time to put Northern Ireland firmly on the global map. The new format will make this a showstopper event and ensure that tourism is recognised as the increasing growth industry that it is.”

Clare Strawson from Diageo Northern Ireland said, “2012 is a very exciting year for Northern Ireland, demonstrated once again by the significance of this year’s Tourism Awards. Through our thriving tourism industry Northern Ireland is fast becoming one of Europe’s most captivating destinations. Diageo is proud to work in partnership with the tourism and hospitality industry in the successful marketing and ongoing development of tourism within Northern Ireland.”

This year eleven categories are up for grabs and Northern Ireland Tourist Board is encouraging organisations of all sizes to apply. The short list will be published in the spring and winners will be announced at the gala event on Monday 21 May 2012 at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.

Entry forms can be downloaded www.nitourismawards.org. You can also request forms by contacting Creative Events on 0289023 5001. Closing date for entries is by noon on 20 February 2012.

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