PRESS RELEASE: VISITENGLAND WINNERS
CELEBRATING LEADERS IN ENGLISH TOURISM: VISITENGLAND REVEALS TWO WORCESTERSHIRE WINNERS FOR AWARDS
VisitEngland, the national tourist board, revealed the winners for the Awards for Excellence 2016 at its 27th annual ceremony held on Tuesday 8 March at the Winter Gardens Blackpool. Celebrating excellence across the industry, the prestigious ceremony - held for the first time this year during English Tourism Week - announced 16 winners, including Best Tourism Experience, Best Visitor Attraction, Best Large Hotel and this year’s new edition, the Best Dog Friendly Business.
Eckinton Manor and the Fleece Inn, both based in Worcestershire, both became Gold winners on the night. Eckinton Manor became the winner 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, became the Gold winner for the Tourism Pub of the Year Award, which recognises a pub which provides an outstanding experience through its range of beverages and serves quality, locally produced food.
Additionally, two special awards honouring individual excellence were presented: Outstanding Contribution to Tourism and Tourism Superstar (run by VisitEngland in partnership with the Daily Mirror). BBC’s Countryfile was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award which was accepted by the programme’s presenters, including John Craven, Adam Henson and the production team. The VisitEngland Board gave the award for the programme’s contribution to raising awareness of England’s rural tourism offer. Through the series, millions of viewers are regularly introduced to the beauty and diversity of England’s countryside and destinations. In doing so the programme positively influences perceptions of England and its attractiveness for tourism.
The Tourism Superstar 2016 winner was also recognised at the ceremony - Lilian Groves, 87, Senior Guide at Durham Cathedral in Durham City recently won the VisitEngland competition with 22% of the total votes cast. Honoured for capturing the hearts and minds of Cathedral visitors from across the globe, Lilian’s accolade was presented by Nigel Thompson, Daily Mirror’s Travel Editor and was received by her colleagues from the cathedral. Tourism Superstar celebrates the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have a memorable experience.
Gold winners from Worcestershire announced at the ceremony included:
Eckington Manor – Eckington, Worcestershire (Taste of England Award)
The Fleece Inn – Bretforton, Worcestershire (Tourism Pub Award)
This year’s Awards featured 80 finalists: 16 Gold winners, 17 Silver winners, 16 Bronze winners and 31 Highly Commended were selected from over 400 entries which represented acclaimed tourism businesses throughout England. Winners were selected by a panel of tourism industry experts chaired by VisitEngland Board Member and Chief Executive of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, John Hoy.
Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain and VisitEngland said: “The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence – this year hosted at the magnificent Winter Gardens Blackpool – celebrate English tourism champions. These awards are the highest accolade in the industry, recognising the world class tourism experiences that can be found throughout England. As ever competition has been fierce, with winners from the regions coming through to compete at a national level so my congratulations to all our winners, especially the Gold Award winners who are the standard bearers for English tourism.”
Tourism Minister David Evennett said: “The success of our world-leading tourism industry is due to the passion and dedication of individuals across the country.
“These awards highlight the huge talent we have, and the fantastic contribution winners and nominees have made to the sector, and I congratulate them all.”
Ruth Thomas, Membership Executive for Visit Worcestershire said: “We are delighted that two tourism businesses in Worcestershire have been recognised nationally as Gold Winners in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. This shows the high calibre of tourism businesses that we have in the county and the national importance of Worcestershire as a tourism destination.”
Access for All (sponsored by Barclayswww.barclays.com)
Hoe Grange Holidays
Bed & Breakfast/ Guest Accommodation (sponsored by Quality in Tourismwww.qualityintourism.com)
Trevose Harbour House
St Ives, Cornwall
Dog Friendly Business (sponsored by PetsPyjamashttp://www.petspyjamas.com)
Holiday Park/ Holiday Village
Darlington, County Durham
Large Visitor Attraction
The University of Manchester, Manchester
Self Catering Holiday Provider (sponsored by Cottages.comwww.cottages.com)
Bainbridge, North Yorkshire
Small Visitor Attraction
Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Taste of England
Liverpool City Council - Memories of August 1914
Livingstone Lodge Overnight Safari Experience
Tourism Pub (sponsored by freetobookhttp://www.freetobook.com)
The Fleece Inn
Visitor Information Provider
Thanet Visitor Information Service
For a full list of winners see www.visitenglandawards.org
To find out more information on the winners visit:www.visitengland.com/excellenceawards