Congratulations to Valerie McFadden on winning a Hotel Hero Award!

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Valerie has recently been announced as one of the Northern Irelands Hotel Federation hotel heroes at a recent special awards ceremony.

The awards celebrate staff and their significant contribution to the industry, with Valerie having worked in the hotel for over 15 years. Although part of the housekeeping team, she can often be found in the hotel lobby welcoming guests and helping with their luggage. She will always go out of her way to have a chat with guests about their stay and always goes the extra mile to ensure children feel like special guests. Nothing is too much trouble for Valerie.

We wanted to thank her for her contribution in enhancing the hotel experience for all our guests and congratulate her on her award win.

People are the lifeblood of the hotel industry and to celebrate its 20th anniversary the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) recognised twenty hotel heroes at a special awards ceremony in the Observatory at Grand Central Hotel, Belfast, on Tuesday 10th September.

 The excitement was palpable as the heroes were welcomed by host Pamela Ballantine and their significant contribution to the industry was recognised.  

 Congratulating the recipients Gavin Carroll, President of the NIHF, said:

 "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 twenty 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 15th and 16th October 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.”