Royal Portrush Golf Club a big winner at NI Travel Awards

Wilma Erskine took home the NI Tourism Industry Awards 2019 at this year's Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards, in association with Blue Insurance. She is pictured on stage receiving her award from Adam Bothwell of category sponsor Stena Line. Also pictured is host for the evening Charlie Lawson and ACA model Rachel Jones
Wilma Erskine took home the NI Tourism Industry Awards 2019 at this year's Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards, in association with Blue Insurance. She is pictured on stage receiving her award from Adam Bothwell of category sponsor Stena Line. Also pictured is host for the evening Charlie Lawson and ACA model Rachel Jones

The 148th Open Championship was a big winner at the recent 28th Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards.

The prestigious and much-coveted Northern Ireland Travel Agent of the Year award this year went to Limavady Travel.

Royal Portrush Golf Club took hom the Northern Ireland Tourism Special Achievement Award 2019 at this year's Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards, in association with Blue Insurance. The team from Portrush Golf Club are pictured on stage receiving their award from Adam Bothwell of category sponsor Stena Line Also pictured is host for the evening Charlie Lawson and former Miss Northern Ireland Meagan Green

Royal Portrush Golf Club took hom the Northern Ireland Tourism Special Achievement Award 2019 at this year's Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards, in association with Blue Insurance. The team from Portrush Golf Club are pictured on stage receiving their award from Adam Bothwell of category sponsor Stena Line Also pictured is host for the evening Charlie Lawson and former Miss Northern Ireland Meagan Green

This year, the NI Tourism Industry Award went to Wilma Erskine. With 34 years hard work and dedication, the farmer’s daughter from Ballymoney has successfully navigated the golfing waters to bring The Open Championship back to Royal Portrush after a 60 year absence.

Her unique contribution to the tourism industry in Northern Ireland and the way she has given visitors to Royal Portrush an experience they will never forget makes both her famous moniker ‘The Boss’ and her award well deserved.

Royal Portrush Golf Club and the Open itself took home the Northern Ireland Special Achievement Award, a very well-deserved accolade. The small town of Portrush normally has a population count of just 7,000 people, yet during the course of the Open it was visited by over 250,000 people. Over eight days (four days of competition and four practice days) almost 240,000 spectators descended on the small seaside town on the North Coast after the Open returned to Portrush after a 68 year hiatus.

A lot of work went into the course and infrastructure on the North Coast. With £17 million spent on the town, Portrush has never looked better. And with two more Open Championships guaranteed, the wider and long-term benefit to tourism in Northern Ireland is almost immeasurable.

The Awards gala, organised by Northern Ireland Travel News in association with Blue Insurance, was attended by almost 440 members of the travel and tourism industry, as well as key decision makers from the travel and tourism industry in the UK and Ireland.

The glittering gala evening, held once again in the fabulous surroundings of the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, was hosted by Charlie Lawson, better known as Coronation Street’s volatile, big Jim McDonald.

The full list of winners are below:

Best Tourist Information Centre 2019 – Visit Belfast Welcome Centre

NI Tourism Special Achievement Award 2019 – Wilma Erskine

NI Tourism Industry Award 2019 – Royal Portrush Golf Club – The Open 2019

Best NI Visitor Attraction 2019 – Titanic Belfast

NI Travel Student of the Year 2019 – Chloe Gordon

Best Travel Insurance Company 2019 – Blue Insurance

Best Luxury Cruise Line 2019 – Silversea

Best River Cruise Line 2019 – Riviera Cruises

Best Cruise Line 2019 – Royal Caribbean International

Best Accommodation Only Specialist 2019 – BookaBed/Room Team

Best UK Airline 2019 – Easyjet

Best Airline to Europe 2019 – Jet2.com

Best Airline Worldwide 2019 – Emirates

Best Ferry Company 2019 – Stena Line

Best Holiday Add-Ons or Car Hire Provider 2019 – Do Something Different

Best Worldwide Tour Operator 2019 – Gold Medal/Travel 2

Best Escorted Tour Operator 2019 – Travel Solutions

Best Specialist Tour Operator 2019 – American Holidays

Best Luxury Operator 2019 – If Only...

Best Ski Operator 2019 – Travel Solutions/Balkan Ski

Best Tour Operator to Europe 2019 – Jet2holidays

Best Destination Award 2019 – Spain

Travel Trade Manager/ Representative of the Year 2019 – Don Clarke

Best Sales Support Team to NI Travel Trade 2019 – Travel Solutions

Best Travel Industry Internet Booking System 2019 – Jet2holidays

Best NI Multiple Retail Agency Branch 2019 – TUI NEWRY

NI Travel Consultant of the Year 2019 – Janine Barr

Northern Ireland Travel Special Award 2019 – British Airways 100th Anniversary

NI Travel & Tourism Industry’s Roll of Honour – Lynda McCorry

NI Travel Industry Award 2019 – Brian Ambrose OBE

Northern Ireland Travel Agent of the Year 2019 – Limavady Travel