Receptionist Winners

28 April 2012


There were joint winners in this year's Hotel Receptionist of the Year competition run by the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) with Laura Jackson of the City Hotel Derry and Anna Toriola of Benedicts being named as this year's winners. The objective of the competition, which is in its ninth year, is to reward and recognise the best individual and teams of receptionists in the province. With over eighty entries in 2012 the competition has gone from strength to strength since it was relaunched in 2004.

This is the first year that there has been a tie for the top spot but the judging panel couldn't separate this year's leading ladies! The City Hotel scored a double success, winning the title of Hotel Reception of the Year in a front office team led by Elaine Harkin, a former winner herself. A stellar performance from the North West!

The winners were honoured at a gala awards ceremony in the Best Western White Horse Hotel where James McGinn, President of the NIHF said, "Receptionists are the gatekeepers of our properties. They are often the first and last people that the guest meets and I cannot stress how important it is for them to leave a positive impression of the hotel. The judging panels in 2012 were staggered at the passion, professionalism and polish of this year's entrants. I am delighted that we have seen standards rise over the last nine years am so proud of the our reception ambassadors."

The Most Promising Hotel Receptionist of the Year award went to Andrea Nelson of The Merchant Hotel, Belfast with Alex Sykes of Hilton, Belfast named as runner up. The judges were extremely impressed with the finalists and the decision on the winners was extremely close. The panel was cognisant of the front line role the hotel receptionist plays in the hospitality industry. The winners were assessed on their customer service capabilities, communication skills and their ability to deal with difficult situations. The judges noted the warmth and professionalism of the finalists and they were in no doubt that the smiles of our local receptionists are one of Northern Ireland's greatest assets!

Industry partners, Coca-Cola HBC NI, Avvio and the Northern Ireland Tourist board, support the competition. NIHF President, James McGinn highlighted the importance of these partnerships saying, 
"Given the fantastic year that is ahead of us it is vital that we all work in partnership. We are delighted to have the support of partners who help us run this initiative. It allows us to elevate the industry, recognise those at the top of their game and to stage competitions to reward our valuable reception staff. We are indebted to all those who have helped us with the competition in 2012 and thank them for their commitment to the industry."

Malachi Cush, compered proceedings at the awards dinner, which was held on Wednesday 28th March 2012. Sponsors, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Coca-Cola HBC NI and Avvio joined with the hotel receptionists and their managers for a night of celebration. 

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