Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Tourism Awards honour for beauty spots and attractions

By Amanda Ferguson

The best enterprises, events and initiatives on offer over the last year have been recognised at the 36th Northern Ireland Tourism Awards.

Some 34 awards were handed out at a gala ceremony at the Ulster Hall in Belfast last night.

Among the winners was Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre in the Best Visitor Experience category, Hotel of the Year went to the Lough Erne Resort and Fermanagh Black Bacon from O'Doherty's Fine Meats took the Taste of Northern Ireland award.

The 2013 Fleadh Cheoil scooped the Best Event/Festival award, chef Niall McKenna was named NI Tourism Hero and the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award went to the UK City of Culture team.

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said: "During the past year, many tourism destinations have looked on with envy at what Northern Ireland has achieved and the profile that we are building." Mrs Foster also said the G8 summit, the World Police and Fire Games, UK City of Culture and more recently the Giro d'Italia had all been a "phenomenal success and again demonstrated our ability to stage world-class events".

"I am pleased that these awards are now throwing the spotlight on the people and the businesses in the sector that have helped to build that confidence."

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