The National Trust are celebrating after receiving a fantastic accolade at the 20th Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards held at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle, Co. Down.
Attended by more than 400 travel and tourism industry VIP’s and decision makers from all parts of the UK and Ireland, the annual Awards ceremony was organised by the province’s travel newspaper, Northern Ireland Travel News.
Nominated and short listed for the Award of Best Northern Ireland Visitor Attraction, the Giant’s Causeway was listed alongside other highly popular attractions the Marble Arch Caves, The Ulster American Folk Park, Old Bushmills Distillery and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
Award nominations in each category came from readers of the NI Travel News and in voting for their favourite attraction they were encouraged to consider: staff efficiency & friendliness, environment, parking, signposting, exhibitions & audio-visual, tour guides, special needs facilities, restaurant & toilet facilities, baby changing and value of money.
Commenting on the award Max Bryant, General Manager for the North Coast said;
“We’re absolutely delighted to have won the award for Best Visitor Attraction for the third year in a row. Annually we receive over half a million visitors from all over the globe but this award was voted for locally which makes it all the more special. It just confirms how important and cherished the Giant’s Causeway is to Northern Ireland people and how collectively confident we are in moving on.
It’s an exciting time for the Giant’s Causeway with the new visitor centre beginning to take shape. We made every effort over the summer to make a visit to the Causeway as smooth as possible and I’d encourage everyone to come and visit the site and see the breathtaking views of this World Heritage Site.”
To date A Giant Cause has raised over £850,000 as part of the final £2.5million funding needed to complete the £18.5million World Class Visitor Experience. The funds raised will go towards a new visitor centre, restoring the headland, building new car parks and ensuring the conservation and protection of the Causeway for future generations.
The new Giant’s Causeway Visitor Experience will be completed by summer 2012 and visitors are still encouraged to come and visit the site throughout the build process as it is business as usual.