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Two Worcestershire businesses have been annouced as finalists in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016.

The Awards stretch back over 25 years and are firmly established as representing the highest accolade in English tourism. They recognise businesses that incorporate best practice and demonstrate excellence in customer service and the very best in quality and innovation.

80 finalists were shortlisted in 16 categories, ranging from Access for All to Visitor Information Provider of the Year and 2016’s debut Dog Friendly Business of the Year Award.

Eckington Manor, a country house on the border of the picturesque Cotswolds, was shortlisted for the Tastes of England Award, which recognises a tourism business that produces or prepares quality food or drink products with a strong emphasis on local sourcing. The Fleece Inn, a National Trust property in Evesham, was shortlisted for the Tourism Pub of the Year Award, which recognises a pub which provides an outstanding experience through its range of beers, wines and beverages and serves quality, locally produced food.

Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain said: “Awards for Excellence finalists exemplify outstanding tourism talent and distinguished businesses throughout England. They not only honour the great and the good in tourism and hospitality, but raise the profile of England and celebrate the importance of the industry’s contribution to local and national economies...There’s absolutely no doubt those chosen are representative of the best in the industry who place delivering an unforgettable experience to visitors in England at the heart of their business operations.”

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016 winners will be announced at an Awards ceremony at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool on Tuesday 8 March, held for the very first time this year during English Tourism Week. Judged by industry leaders, all finalists will receive a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended Award.

The ceremony will also include the official presentation of the VisitEngland and Daily Mirror’s Tourism Superstar 2016 Award for the nation’s publically voted unsung tourism hero. To find out more and book tickets for the Awards ceremony visit

The Visit Worcestershire Awards for Excellence were held on Thursday 15 October 2015 at the Destination Worcestershire Annual Tourism Conference at St Andrews Town Hotel in Droitwich. Eight businesses became winners and were put forward for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016. Applications for the VisitWorcestershire Awards 2016 will open in May 2016.