The Northern Ireland Tourist Board is celebrating the achievements of its chief executive who hails from Waringstown.
Former Lurgan College student Alan Clarke was recently given one of the first ever Honorary Fellowship Awards by Belfast Metropolitan College.
The local man received the prestigious award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the local tourism economy.
Recognised as a forward-thinking industry leader he was awarded the highest accolade the college can bestow during one of three ceremonies which celebrated the achievements of over 1,000 higher education graduates at Belfast Metropolitan College.
Alan steered Northern Ireland Tourist Board through a period of major change and high levels of investment, culminating in the NI 2012 ‘Our Time, Our Place’ campaign and the global repositioning of Northern Ireland as a tourism destination.
He led the launch of a significant number of additional new tourism facilities, attractions and events across Northern Ireland and paved the way for international events coming to the country for the first time.
These included the Irish Open, the Giro D’Italia and the Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture celebrations which took place recently.
Commenting on the award Northern Ireland Tourist Board Chairman Howard Hastings said: “I’ve been fortunate to work alongside Alan since before my time as chairman, and since joining the board of NITB, and have witnessed at first-hand his experience and influence.
“The contribution he has made to Northern Ireland tourism has been immenses,” said Mr Hastings.
“Alan has been instrumental in the continuing transformation of our tourism landscape and its impact on the economy.
“We will feel the benefits for years to come.
“I am therefore delighted he has been recognised by Belfast Met and on behalf of the NITB board we offer him hearty congratulations.”