Lorry Middleton, Hovertravel Handling Agent at Hovertravel Ltd, Portsmouth is this year's VisitEngland Tourism Superstar winner.
The competition recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors have an amazing and unforgettable experience. Now in its ninth year, Tourism Superstar nominees are passionate about where they work and the destination they live in and consistently set the bar high for the standard of service in England's tourism industry. Run in conjunction with partner The Mirror, the campaign champions careers in tourism (for people of all ages) and promotes quality, customer service and excellence within England’s tourism industry.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “Tourism Superstar recognises those people within the industry who go above and beyond to make visitor experiences in England so special. Whether creating a memorable stay in a seaside hotel, adding a touch of showbiz to a tour of an attraction or making sure everyone’s needs are catered for, these individuals truly go the extra mile in their role as tourism ambassadors.
“Lorry Middleton has taken the title for his tireless enthusiasm ensuring every visitor to the Isle of Wight he meets is well briefed and ready for the visit of a lifetime.”
Lorry is a long-term Hovertravel employee, having started in 2011. His roles include welcoming customers, seeing the craft in and out, scanning and selling tickets and souvenirs, and being an approachable, visible point of contact for all visitors. His commitment to the customer is his highest priority, making sure that customers are sitting comfortably, that they know what will happen at the other end of their hovercraft journey and by making insightful suggestions and recommendations to greatly improve the customer’s overall trip.
Lorry is not just an ambassador for Hovertravel, he actively promotes the Isle of Wight to customers. His knowledge of the Island has been built up over the years and he keeps himself abreast of the latest developments and current offers. This means he can provide advice and information to cover almost any trip across the Solent. Always actively contributing to marketing meetings, in 2019 he suggested a promotion to raise awareness of free travel for dogs onboard Hovertravel which generated significant exposure in local press.