Windermere boatman in the running for Visit England superstar tourism award

  • Report by Granada Reports Correspondent Paul Crone

A Windermere boatman who 'never fails to make people smile' has been shortlisted for a prestigious tourism award.

Ahmed Abdelaziz, who was born in Egypt, is the only person in the North West to be shortlisted to win a Visit England superstar award.

The competition recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry across the UK - and Ahmed is one of ten to be nominated.

The 46-year-old, who oversees the self-drive boats on Windermere, has taken the picturesque Lake District town by storm with his outgoing personality.

He said: "I've been always in the water. I love to be in the water. You come here. It's been one week. It's not enough. Two weeks is never enough, so you have to come back to visit."

Ahmed's positive attitude is infectious. His boss, Russell Bowden from Windermere Lake Cruises said: "He makes a huge difference. They don't have to be customers. It could be anybody that's here.

"You're not allowed to walk past Ahmed without a cheery hello, 'How are you doing? Are you enjoying yourself? Can we help in any way?'

"He goes out of his way for everybody that he comes across."

Ahmed Credit: Visit England

The company nominated Ahmed for this award. They said: "Ahmed has worked for Windermere Lake Cruises for five years and throughout his time with the organisation has never failed to ensure that both staff and customers are always smiling.

"He is extremely passionate about people, understanding the importance of delivering a unique experience to each individual customer.

"He exudes enthusiasm which is contagious amongst guests and colleagues alike. He is an outgoing, patient, honest, reliable and self-motivated and speaks many different languages."

You can vote for Ahmed on the Visit England website here.