The Peak District Agricultural Park Supervisor’s joy at winning the National Tourism Superstar Competition

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

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

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

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Farm Supervisor National Tourism Superstar winner George Finlay at Matlock Farm Park.

“The Peak District and Derbyshire are an incredible destination, with so much to offer visitors, and I am delighted to be able to play a small part in helping people have memorable experiences. Thank you to everyone who voted!”

Congratulatory messages to George flooded the Farm Park social pages.

Katie Bonsall posted on Facebook: “Well deserved George!!! Proud of you! You are a great asset to Matlock Farm Park!”

Yvonne Evans commented: “Well done George and everyone at Matlock Farm Park. We’ve been coming for years with our grandkids – it just gets better and better with time. A great day.

Julie Puds wrote: “Fantastic and well deserved news for George and all the staff at Farm Park. A wonderful 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 are delighted to see him win this prestigious national award.

“George embodies all that is great about working in the Peak District and Derbyshire tourism industry – he is friendly, helpful and engages with people of all ages to make their trip special. A huge congratulations to George and thank you to everyone who voted.

George was nominated for the award for his enthusiasm, passion, knowledge and dedication. Her responsibilities include looking after the health and welfare of the animals, interacting with visitors, and organizing informative animal-focused activities, such as encounters with wallabies and talks with meerkats.

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

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

A message from Phil Bramley, Editor

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