Voting is now open for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar, with York’s very own Dorian Deathly in the Top 10 finalists for the national accolade.
The ten VisitEngland Tourism Superstar finalists were announced on Saturday 12th February by the Daily Mirror. The public can now vote for their favourite finalist at;
Voting is open from today until 22nd March. The winner with the most public votes will be announced by the Daily Mirror on 26th March.
Dorian Deathly had worked as a tour guide for over 7 years in York and always dreamed of starting his own ghost tour. When the pandemic hit, he lost his job and as a way to keep sane, began to livestream his walks around the city at night, telling ghost stories, onto his Facebook page. Due to demand, these became a regular occurrence – the free, virtual Ghost Tour of Haunted York. The tours attracted over 10,000 fans on Facebook alone.
The success of Dorian’s virtual tours created a lot of interest in the city, so much so that in August 2020 he launched his own real life walking tour which now runs 4 nights a week.
The Deathly Dark Tours won three Gold awards and one silver, including the ‘Lockdown Hero’ award at Visit York’s #LoveYork Awards and is nominated for 3 awards at this year’s Visit York Tourism Awards.
The winner of VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2022 will be invited to attend and receive their award at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022 ceremony in June 2022. Nigel Thompson, Travel Editor at the Mirror and Reach Plc, will present the award along with the reigning VisitEngland Tourism Superstar.
Dorian Deathly, Tourism Superstar finalist, said: “It’s an honour to be nominated for Tourism Superstar. I take great pride in my spooky little tour, and considering that the business was launched amidst the pandemic I’m constantly staggered by the amount of guests who choose to join me, sharing an evening of weird and wonderful tales in the streets of York. To be shortlisted for award on a national scale is absolutely incredible!”
Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York, said: “We’re incredibly proud that one of York’s most highly regarded walking tours is one of the finalists for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar. The Deathly Dark Tours has become a firm favourite with residents and visitors, with Dorian Deathly always going above and beyond to create an excellent (and often ghastly) experience on his tours. During the pandemic, he kept many of us entertained by streaming his walks online and it’s no surprise that people rushed to sign up for the physical tours once restrictions lifted. Dorian Deathly thoroughly deserves to be this year’s Tourism Superstar and we hope that the City of York and anyone who has been on Dorian’s tour will give him their vote!”
Andrew Stokes, England Director at VisitEngland, said: “Tourism Superstar recognises those people 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 or an attraction or making sure everyone’s needs are catered for, these individuals truly go the extra mile in their role as tourism ambassadors.”