Peak District farm park supervisor's joy at winning national Tourism Superstar competition

A farm supervisor at a Peak District visitor attraction says he is “over the moon” about being crowned Tourism Superstar in a national competition.

By Gay Bolton
Saturday, 2nd April 2022, 3:12 pm

George Finlay, 22, who works at Matlock Farm Park, beat off challenges from nine other finalists to become the contest’s youngest winner to date after receiving 29% of the public vote.

He won the Tourism Superstar award, sponsored by national tourism agency VisitEngland and The Mirror, which recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the industry.

George said: “I feel so lucky to work in a job where I can share my passion for animals with visitors of all ages and winning this national award, which is voted for by members of the public, is a huge honour.

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National Tourism Superstar winner George Finlay, farm supervisor, at Matlock Farm Park.

“The Peak District and Derbyshire is an incredible destination, with so much to offer visitors, and I’m delighted that I get to play a small role in helping people to have memorable experiences. Thank you to everyone who voted!”

Messages of congratulations to George have flooded the farm park’s social pages.

Katie Bonsall posted on Facebook: “Well deserved George!!! Proud of you! You’re a great asset to Matlock farm park!”

Yvonne Evans commented: “Well done George and everyone at Matlock Farm Park. We have been coming for years with our grandchildren - it's got better and better over time. A great day out.”

Julie Puds wrote: “Fantastic news and well deserved to George and all the Farm Park staff. A marvellous reflection of the hard work and dedication you all put in.”

And on Twitter, Karen Pierce Goulding @kpgtourguide wrote: “Well deserved George! Brilliant, well done!”

Jo Dilley, managing director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, said: “At just 22 years old, George is a fantastic ambassador for our vibrant tourism sector and we’re delighted to see him win this prestigious national award.

“George embodies all that is great about working in the Peak District and Derbyshire’s tourism industry - he is friendly, helpful and engages with people of all ages with a view to making their trip special. A huge well done to George and thank you to everyone who voted.”

George was nominated for the award for his enthusiasm, passion, knowledge and dedication. His responsibilities include looking after the health and welfare of animals, interacting with visitors and running informative animal-based activities such as wallaby encounters and meerkat talks.

Particularly passionate about the mental health benefits of animals, George was the driving force behind the creation of weekly Facebook Live broadcasts to entertain visitors with uplifting content when Matlock Farm Park was closed because of Covid restrictions.

George’s national success in the competition, which was launched a decade ago, follows him winning silver in the Tourism Young Achiever category at the Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards earlier this month.

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