Kent Skatepark Manager Sam Watling has been revealed as one of 10 finalists for VisitEngland’s annual Tourism Superstar award, run in conjunction with the Daily Mirror.

Now in its seventh year, the Tourism Superstar competition recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry as part of English Tourism Week. It is awarded to one individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have an unforgettable experience.

Each year a panel of expert judges draw up a shortlist of 10 candidates for a public vote, whittled down from hundreds of nominations submitted by local tourist boards across the country. Sam’s nomination by the Tourism Team at Thanet District Council follows his success as Thanet Tourism Superstar in the Pride in Thanet Tourism Awards 2017.

Sam Watling started working at Revolution Skatepark in Thanet upon leaving school 10 years ago. He has become a passionate advocate of not only teaching skateboarding skills but also in promoting the local areas to his visitors and customers.

As head instructor for all skateboard and scooter lessons, it’s Sam’s job to keep lessons running smoothly and making sure all the kids are having as much fun as possible. He has set up and run many events such as Skate and Scoot camps in the school holidays which have attracted people from as far as London and Essex to come for lessons.

Sam has also has a few fans himself with families and young people seeking out his teaching skills from far afield.

Cllr Hunter Stummer Schmertzing, Thanet District Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Enterprise Services said: “It is a testament to his commitment, passion and dedication that Sam Watling has now been shortlisted for such a prestigious national award. Thanet has a thriving tourism offering and businesses such as Revolution Skatepark, which has been open for twenty years, are vital in maintaining the areas status as a popular day out destination.

“It is people like Sam that make our visitors’ experiences memorable and leave them with a positive impression of the area. I would urge anyone who has had the chance to see Sam in action or enjoyed the Skatepark to vote. It is a great way to create recognition of his outstanding work and winning awards continues to put Thanet on the map and drive visitors to the district.”

Voting closes at midnight on 20th March with the overall winner to be announced as part of English Tourism Week on 24th March.

Those voting will be entered into a competition of their own with a chance to win one of two superb staycations up for grabs. Both prizes will be selected at random from a list of those who voted (T&Cs apply).

To find out more about Sam and the other Tourism Superstar finalists, go to:

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VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar award is a trademark event of English Tourism Week (, which highlights the importance of tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors in the national economy. This year English Tourism Week runs from March 17th – March 25th.