People are the lifeblood of the hotel industry and to celebrate its 20th anniversary the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) recognised 20 hotel heroes at a special awards ceremony in the Observatory at Grand Central Hotel, Belfast.
The excitement was palpable as the heroes were welcomed by host Pamela Ballantine and their significant contribution to the industry was recognised.
One of the hotel heroes was Davy McMaster who is been a Kitchen Porter at Causeway Hotel for 12 years.
He said: “This event recognises the talented individuals who have contributed so much to their hotel and the hospitality sector over the years. In my role as Kitchen Porter at Causeway Hotel, I have had the pleasure of helping my team with a multitude of tasks.
“From helping with the prep work in the kitchen for the chefs, to assisting the management and bar staff with customer requests, no day is ever the same. My motto is simple, it’s simply to get the job done and to take pride in every task. To be nominated for the NIHF Hotel Hero award is a fantastic accolade for me personally and for everyone who works in the hotel.”
Congratulating the recipients Gavin Carroll, President of the NIHF explained: “As an organisation, we felt it was fitting to celebrate our people. They are unique and it is their individuality that gives our industry its personality. We know that the commitment of our staff and the passion that they have for the industry ensures that guests have a great stay. We were delighted with the response and we had a diverse range of nominations.
“The industry has grown dramatically over the last two decades and our staff remain central to our success. We asked members to nominate someone within their business who has really made a difference. The person may have been performing a valuable ‘back of house’ role or meeting customers each day. Either way their contribution has been noted as enhancing the overall hotel experience.”
The 20 hotel heroes received an individual trophy on the night and have been invited along as guests to this year’s Hospitality Exchange which takes place on October 15 and 16 in Crowne Plaza Belfast.
Discussing the employment opportunities that the industry holds Gavin added: “The hotel sector has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. The number of hotel rooms has doubled. We increased jobs by 100% and the roles that we have to offer have diversified. It is important that we attract more people into the industry and it is therefore imperative that we increase awareness of the opportunities available.
“The excellent careers that we can provide in hotels and the wider hospitality industry need to be recognised and celebrated. Image has been an issue for the sector for some time. We are keen to play our part in addressing any misconceptions and highlighting the opportunities a career in hospitality presents.”
For further information on NIHF log onto www.nihf.co.uk and for Hospitality Exchange log onto https://hospitalityexchange.org.uk/