Guide shortlisted for national tourism award

A guide from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been shortlisted for a national tourism award.  Katie Neville, who works as a period interpreter at Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Henley Street, is one of ten people shortlisted for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar supported by the Daily Mirror.

The accolade was launched three years ago by the national tourist board as part of English Tourism Week (this year running 14-22 March) and aims to uncover England’s unsung holiday heroes. The award recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and is awarded to individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have a priceless experience.   

It is the second year in a row that a representative from Stratford-upon-Avon has been shortlisted for this prestigious award, with John and Helen Hogg from Stratford Town Walk making it into the top ten in 2014.  

The initiative is supported by the Daily Mirror which will host an online public vote from 31 January along with a short film of all nominees.  Readers will be able to vote for their favourite on The winner will be announced on 14 March, the first day of English Tourism Week.  

Katie is one of a small team of guides in period costume at Shakespeare’s Birthplace who bring this historic house and the works, life and times of its most famous occupant vividly to life for every visitor.  The job entails presenting and interpreting historic objects and the fabric of the house, explaining the world and people that young Shakespeare would have known here.   

Katie Neville said: “It feels amazing to be shortlisted for such a prestigious accolade, representing the team of period guides here at Shakespeare’s Birthplace. It’s a privilege to bring Shakespeare to life for our visitors, many of whom travel from all over the world to fulfil a lifelong ambition to visit Stratford-upon-Avon, and set foot inside the home where William Shakespeare was born. It gives me enormous satisfaction to be part of this experience and seeing their enjoyment makes my job so worthwhile. I’d like to thank everyone for their lovely feedback and support over the years; it would be fantastic to win!”  

Robin Tjolle, Destination Manager for Shakespeare’s England said: “I am so pleased that Katie has been shortlisted for this award. She epitomises the hard work and dedication many of our tourism business and their employees put in every day to make sure that visitors have a wonderful experience when they visit our area. She is a great ambassador for Shakespeare’s England and we urge everyone to vote for Katie when voting starts at the end of January.” 

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