Tourism businesses across the region are being encouraged to enter the North East England Tourism Awards 2024 and access free masterclasses to help get their application noticed.
The North East England Tourism Awards (NEETA) celebrate quality, innovation and best practice throughout the region, showcasing the fantastic range of high-quality experiences on offer for visitors in the North East.
Winners in a number of categories at the awards are then put forward for the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence – with the 2023 awards being held in London last month.
The region enjoyed a fantastic performance on the evening; Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages picked up Gold in the Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year and Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours also picked up Gold for Experience of the Year.
Andrew Douglas, owner of Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours said, “Entering your business for the tourism awards is an invaluable opportunity to shine on your achievements and dedication within the tourism industry.
“Winning the award was like a dream come true, but whether you are winning or being shortlisted for an award, the whole experience brings well-deserved recognition and prestige to your business. The process is simple and easy, and the rewards are massive.”
NEETA 2024 will see businesses compete in 15 categories, including the coveted Large and Small Hotel of the Year and Unsung Hero.
Festival and Events organisers are being encouraged to enter the Accessible and Inclusive and Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism category this year to celebrate the breadth of events on offer in the region.
And this year the NEETA organiser, NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) on behalf of the first ever regional tourism pilot partnership, is offering two free online masterclasses to businesses to help get their application noticed. These webinars will be run by leading tourism expert Nell Barrington who will give guidance, tips, and advice on the application process and how to showcase a business at its best.
Nell, a tourism awards veteran, has helped hundreds of businesses create award-winning applications over the last 15 years, many of which have gone on to national success at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.
Sarah Green, Chief Executive of NGI, said:
“We are delighted to welcome applications for the North East England Tourism Awards 2024 and encourage interest in the award-entry masterclasses being offered. The Awards have evolved this year and now act as a focus for a wider business support programme for the region’s hospitality businesses designed to deliver excellence.
“The North East as the first-government funded regional tourism pilot has set ambitious targets to double the size of the tourism sector in the next ten years – creating more jobs, driving innovation, ensuring an accessible and inclusive welcome for all and creating year-round demand.
“Being able to work closely with businesses, such as those who enter the tourism awards, will only help to further strengthen our offer, showcasing excellence and sharing best practice across the whole region.
“We would encourage any tourism business, large and small, to enter for free. We have already seen this year the impact that major events can have on the North East with the recent Sam Fender and Pink concerts estimated to boost the local economy by £15m, so I would particularly encourage event organisers to look at the criteria and enter the relevant category.”
The NEETA awards celebrated their 20th anniversary last year with more applications than ever coming from new applicants and businesses. It also saw Robson Green pick up the very first Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award. This special category will make another appearance as part of next year’s celebrations with an individual, organisation or activity being recognised for the positive impact they have on the region.
Applications for the North East England Tourism Awards will close at 5pm on Monday 4 September 2023, with the award winners being announced in Spring 2024.
For more information and application, please visit tickets.northeasttourismawards.co.uk/apply-now/
The next webinar to give entry-writing support will run on Monday 14 August with sign up information here: NEETA Entry Webinars
North East England Tourism Awards 2024 Categories
- Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award
- Bed & Breakfast and Guest House of the Year
- Business Events Venue of the Year
- Camping, Glamping & Holiday Park of the Year
- Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award
- Experience of the Year
- Large Hotel of the Year
- New Tourism Business of the Year
- Pub of the Year
- Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year
- Small Hotel of the Year
- Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
- Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
- Taste of North East England Award
- Unsung Hero Award