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North East’s best represent region at national tourism awards

Four of the region’s best tourism businesses and individuals have been announced as finalists for the national tourism awards.

Hotel Indigo Durham, Seaham Hall, Triple A Food Tours and Clive Goodwin of The Ouseburn Trust will be competing for the top spot at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

The prestigious awards, being held in Birmingham on June 8, will see them go up against finalists from around the country in 15 categories.

The four nominees were selected after picking up Gold at the North East England Tourism Awards in March.

NewcastleGateshead is delighted to have finalists in two new award categories.

New Tourism Business of the Year winner Triple A Food Tours, based in Newcastle will be taking on Rowley Farm Holidays in Worcestershire and Three Mile Beach in Cornwall to pick up the national title.

In the Unsung Hero category, which celebrates individuals who go the extra mile to ensure visitors have a truly memorable experience, Clive Goodwin, of The Ouseburn Trust will be flying the flag for the North East.

Two of the region’s top hotels will also be fighting out for the national title. Hotel Indigo, Durham has been nominated in the Large Hotel of the Year category competing against The Langham, in London and The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa in Somerset.

In the Small Hotel of the Year Seaham Hall will be hoping to strike gold against The Idle Rocks in Cornwall and No 15 by Guesthouse in Somerset.

Sarah Green, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, who deliver the regional tourism awards, said: “This is incredible news for the region and for the tourism industry. Congratulations to all of the nominees, in particular those NewcastleGateshead businesses Triple A Tours and Clive Goodwin at The Ouseburn Trust, who are fantastic examples of businesses and individuals going the extra mile to offer visitors an unforgettable experience.

“Here in the North East we already know the quality, passion and innovation that our tourism businesses and individuals bring to the sector, but for that to be recognised on a national scale is credit to everyone involved.

“Tourism remains the fourth largest sector in the region’s economy, and we would like to wish all the regional nominees good luck. A win at the finals both drives bookings for the business but also shouts about the quality of the regional offer.”

Amy Whitfield, owner of Triple A Food Tours, which runs tours around Newcastle, Ouseburn, Northumberland and Durham, said: “I actually can’t put into words how over the moon I am! I will definitely be attending the evening to fly the flag for the North East! I really am blown away to be shortlisted for Visit England Award! It’s an honour to be able to represent the North Easts incredible independent food scene.”

Clive Goodwin, who co-ordinates the programme of tours at The Victoria Tunnel, said: “I am privileged to be doing the job I love. The Victoria Tunnel was a largely unknown part of Newcastle’s rich mining and WW2 heritage and from getting the job in 2010, I have put everything into sharing its fantastic story into the public domain. I am so proud to have achieved this and helped make the Victoria Tunnel Newcastle’s most popular tourist attraction.”

Applications for the North East England Tourism Awards, which will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary next year, will open following the national awards in June.

For a full list of finalists go to https://www.visitbritain.org/visitengland-announces-awards-excellence-2022-finalists

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Region’s tourism businesses celebrated at annual awards

The region’s top tourism businesses will be celebrated at the North East England Tourism Awards on Thursday, March 24.

The annual event, hosted by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) will be held at Newcastle Civic Centre.

Attractions, hotels and individuals from across the North East will compete in 15 categories including two new categories, Unsung Hero and Resilience and Innovation and more than 100 applications were received for this year’s awards.

Ian McAllister, Head of Marketing and Communications at The Alnwick Garden, who have been nominated in three categories this year, said:

“We were absolutely delighted to be nominated in this year’s Tourism Awards.  After a couple of years of the entire industry re-finding its feet, it is incredible to acknowledge the amount of work that our entire team have put in to make The Alnwick Garden one of the most recognisable tourist destinations in the North East.

“We of course couldn’t have had such a successful year without the support of our visitors, staff and volunteers and it has finally been so nice to see so many happy and smiling faces throughout the site.

“As previous winners of the North East and national tourism awards we know first-hand how important they are in highlighting how unique our venue is and as such has driven new visitors through our gates.  We are incredibly excited to join all of the other nominees on the night to showcase quite how much the North East has to offer.”

Carl Howe, of Valhalla North Axe Throwing, in Newton Aycliffe has been shortlisted in one of this year’s new categories Unsung Hero.

Carl and his wife Kat set up Newton Aycliffe-based Valhalla in 2019 and it is now the UK’s leading independent axe throwing venue. Kat decided to nominate her husband as recognition for the hard work in getting the business recognised particularly during the Covid pandemic.

Speaking about his nomination Carl said: “I was shocked to hear Kat had put me forward and truly humbled to hear I had been shortlisted. I don’t do what I do to be noticed, but to ensure the business is succeeding and that visitors are having the best experience possible and enjoying a sport I am so passionate about.

“It would be an honour to win this award and I would be extremely thankful to Kat for nominating me and to the judges for awarding it to me.

Sarah Green, chief executive of NGI said: “The last few years have been incredibly challenging for the region’s tourism industry, however the resilience shown by our businesses, attractions and individuals to adapt and establish new ways of working has been phenomenal.

“These awards are an important step in demonstrating that the region is a world-class visitor destination with an exciting and quality offer. Congratulations again to all those businesses shortlisted and we’re looking forward to celebrating with you all.”

Businesses are now being invited to buy their tickets for the awards ceremony with BBC Radio Newcastle presenter Alfie Joey as compere for the night.

The awards are once again sponsored by Newcastle College and Bidfood. The North East England Tourism Awards are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the North East Tourism Alliance.

The Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that benefit the industry. Members of the North East Tourism Alliance include, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, North East Hotels Association, North Tyneside Council, Visit Northumberland, South Tyneside Council, Sunderland City Council, Tees Valley Combined Authority and Visit County Durham.

Tickets are £40+VAT each and can be purchased here https://buytickets.at/newcastlegatesheadinitaitive/639859

The awards ceremony will start at 6.30pm.

Eligible winners from the North East England Tourism Awards will automatically feed into the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022 for the chance to be recognised as a national winner.

For a full list of shortlisted businesses go to www.northeasttourismawards.co.uk 

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Shortlist announced for North East Tourism Awards

Despite a tough year for the tourism industry and continued uncertainty being created by the Pandemic, the efforts of businesses in the sector will be recognised in the 2022 North East Tourism Awards – the shortlist for which has now been announced.

Taking place in March 2022, the awards evening will see shortlisted candidates in 15 categories, ranging from camping and glamping to resilience and innovation, all vying for top spot.

Ian Thomas, Destination Director at NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) who announced the shortlist said:

“The tourism sector is a vitally important part of the regional economy, and the awards enable us to showcase the best of the sector. NGI continues to throw its weight behind the tourism sector in the north east, and we’ve ensured the region’s voice is heard, for example by attending briefings with the Tourism Minister.”

Since the outbreak of the pandemic the resilience of the region‘s tourism industry has come to the fore as business owners and their teams have innovated to protect and support this vital aspect of the economy and bounce back. The new, resilience and innovation award that will be presented will recognise businesses that have demonstrated innovation, resilience and adaptation, along with support for their local communities, during the pandemic.

The North East’s reputation for a warm welcome, compact nature and proximity to coast and country continues and it is well positioned as the place to staycation.

NGI’s Ian Thomas said:

“Recently, Northumberland National Park was voted the best in the UKtwo North East beaches are on a list of UK’s ‘best kept secrets’ and Newcastle was placed as one of the world’s 20 most fascinating second cities by internationally renowned Rough Guides who highlighted our brilliant night-life, rich arts & culture and famous Geordie charm as reasons to visit.

“National Geographic recently included Hadrian’s Wall as one of its 35 must-visit destinations around the world in 2022, alongside the likes of Rome, Oslo and Costa Rica and that’s perfect timing for the Wall’s 1900th anniversary and a packed programme of events starting in January. These are all great reasons to celebrate our tourism sector.”

The North East England Tourism Awards are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the North East Tourism Alliance.

The Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that benefit the industry. Members of the North East Tourism Alliance include, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, North East Hotels Association, North Tyneside Council, Visit Northumberland, South Tyneside Council, Sunderland City Council, Tees Valley Combined Authority and Visit County Durham.

The 2022 North East Tourism Awards shortlist is:

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

Vindomora Country Lodges

GHOSTnortheast – The Walk

B&B and Guest House of the Year

Market Cross Guest House

Old Rectory Howick

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

Beacon Hill Hideaways

Woodland Chase Glamping

Vindomora Country Lodges

Walkmill Campsite

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

Laverock Law Cottages and Glamping

CBK Adventures LTD

Resilience and Innovation Award

The Alnwick Garden

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Langley Castle Hotel

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Small Hotel of the Year

Langley Castle Hotel

Seaham Hall

High Force Hotel

Unsung Hero Award

Valhalla North Axe Throwing

Northside Surf School

Ouseburn Trust

Hall Hill Farm

Experience of the Year

The Escape Key Limited

The Alnwick Garden

Ingram Valley Farm

New Tourism Business Award

Triple A Food Tours

Sycamore Cottage & Glamping Pods

Woodland Chase Glamping

Pub of the Year

The Feathers Inn

The Blackbird

The Twice Brewed Inn

The Bamburgh Castle Inn

Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year

St Oswald’s Farm

Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages

Breamish Valley Cottages

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Kielder Observatory

Woodhorn Museum

Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens

Taste of North East England

Colman’s Seafood Temple

Teesdale Cheesemakers

The Feathers Inn

Large Hotel of the Year

Hotel Indigo Durham

INNSIDE by Melia Newcastle

Maldron Hotel Newcastle

Ramside Hall Hotel

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

The Alnwick Garden

Roman Vindolanda Fort & Museum

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

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North East shines at national tourism industry awards

Three exceptional North East tourism businesses represented the region at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020 last night, where they took home a host of awards and secured their position as some of the finest examples of tourism businesses in the country. The annual awards event highlights the best of the country’s tourism industry and celebrates quality, innovation and best practice.

Seahouses bed and breakfast, St Cuthbert’s House won silver, while Northumbrian and Scandinavian fusion restaurant, Hjem, and luxury spa hotel, Seaham Hall both won bronze at the awards which took place in a virtual event on the evening of Monday 17 August.

The winning businesses were automatically nominated to compete at a national level after being recognised at the regional North East England Tourism Awards 2020 in April this year.

St Cuthbert’s House, which is owned and run by husband and wife team Jeff and Jill Sutheran, won silver in the B&B and Guest House of the Year category, after having also won gold in 2014 and 2017.

Mrs Sutheran commented on the win: “It’s a real honour for us to win silver at these national awards. It’s great for our own business, of course, but we’re also very proud to be flying the flag for Northumberland and highlighting the fact that there are top-quality experiences to be had here.”

Mr Sutheran added: “We’re delighted that our determination to provide an unforgettable guest experience in this amazing area has brought us this national award. There were some fantastic tourism businesses from around the whole country in the mix, and to be judged as worthy of the silver award is just wonderful.”

After going head to head with two Michelin-starred restaurants, Hexham’s Restaurant Hjem was awarded bronze in the Taste of England Award category, securing its place amongst the best foodie hotspots in the country.

Hjem’s restaurant manager Ally Thompson said: “We were delighted to have been shortlisted in these national awards alongside established and Michelin-starred restaurants, and we’re honoured to have been given the bronze award.

“We always wanted Hjem to be a destination restaurant, offering a food experience people were willing to travel for, and ensuring we showcase the very best of Northumberland produce is a big part of that. We’re really thrilled to be given this recognition by the VisitEngland judges and look forward to welcoming more and more visitors from all over the UK and beyond.”

County Durham’s five-star Seaham Hall won bronze in the Small Hotel of the Year category. Ross Grieve, Seaham Hall’s managing director, said: “We are honoured to have been awarded bronze for Small Hotel of the Year in the prestigious national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, and offer many congratulations to Grays Court for scooping gold.

“It is thanks to the entire team at Seaham Hall for their ongoing hard work and dedication, together with the ongoing support from our regular guests and friends of Seaham Hall, that we have received this recognition. We look forward to another successful year, as we welcome Ben Stokes as our new brand ambassador and launch our new luxury residences.”

It was also a successful evening for North East destination management and marketing organisations, as NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) won silver and Visit County Durham won gold in the International Distribution Award. The award recognises destinations committed to increasing the international distribution of their tourism products and acknowledges their move towards creating more online bookable products.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative delivers the regional North East England Tourism Awards supported by North East Tourism Alliance members.

Ian Thomas, Director of Leisure Tourism at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We were so proud to see three of our region’s tourism businesses do so well at the awards last night, representing the finest examples of what our region has to offer on a national level. We hope the awards announcements have given them a great morale boost after such a difficult few months.

“We’re also delighted to have taken home the silver award ourselves for NGI’s work in attracting international visitors to the region. We look forward to supporting the recovery of the tourism sector by continuing to attract visitors safely and sustainably in the coming months.”

The full list of national winners can be viewed here: https://www.visitbritain.org/business-advice/awards/visitengland-awards-excellence-2020-winners.

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Exceptional North East businesses shortlisted in tourism industry’s national awards

Three outstanding North East tourism businesses have been shortlisted in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020, an event that champions the very best of the country’s tourism industry and celebrates quality, innovation and best practice.

Seahouses bed and breakfast, St Cuthbert’s House, Northumbrian and Scandinavian fusion restaurant, Hjem, and luxury spa hotel, Seaham Hall will represent the region at the national awards, which will take place in a virtual event on Monday 17 August.

The shortlisted businesses were automatically put forward to compete at a national level after being recognised at the regional North East England Tourism Awards 2020 in April this year.

St Cuthbert’s House, which is owned and run by husband and wife team Jeff and Jill Sutheran has been shortlisted in the B&B and Guest House of the Year category.

Mr Sutheran commented on the win: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted in the prestigious VisitEngland Awards once again. Such an accolade will certainly provide a valuable boost to our business in these very difficult times. But as important, for us, is the opportunity that these awards provide to raise the profile of the North East and Northumberland in particular.

“We’re pleased to be able to highlight the fact that staycationers experience standards of service which are rigorously and independently judged as being the best in the whole country.”

Hexham’s Restaurant Hjem will go head to head with some of the best foodie hotspots in the country for the Taste of England Award.

Restaurant manager Ally Thompson and head chef Alex Nietosvouri said: “We’re delighted and honoured to have been shortlisted in these national awards. Having only opened in May 2019, it feels like a real achievement to be named as finalists alongside these established and Michelin-starred restaurants and as ever, we’re incredibly proud to be flying the flag for Northumberland and the fantastic farmers, producers and growers we’re lucky to have on our doorstep.

“We always wanted Hjem to be a destination restaurant, offering a food experience people were willing to travel for. Since reopening in July, we have been enjoying welcoming guests back to Restaurant Hjem and this news has given us all a lovely extra boost.”

County Durham’s five-star Seaham Hall has been shortlisted in the Small Hotel of the Year category. The hotel previously scooped Gold at the regional awards after impressing a panel of industry experts and a visit from a mystery shopper.

North East destination management and marketing organisations NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) and Visit County Durham have also been shortlisted alongside Destination Bristol in a new special category, the International Distribution Award. The category recognises destinations committed to increasing the international distribution of their tourism products and acknowledges their move towards creating more online bookable products and experiences for tourists via the new Tourism Exchange GB (TXGB) distribution platform.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative delivers the annual North East England Tourism Awards supported by North East Tourism Alliance members.

Ian Thomas, Director of Leisure Tourism at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We are really proud of our regional businesses who will go on to compete in the national awards next month. These represent some of the finest examples of our country’s tourism industry and show off the amazing coast and countryside that we have on our doorstep in the North East. The awards announcements are well timed as our businesses begin to reopen after a difficult few months and will give a welcome boost to the sector.

“What’s more, this year NGI has itself been shortlisted for an award for our work in attracting international visitors to the region. After leading on the delivery of the North East England Tourism Awards for many years, it makes a different, but exciting experience to be up for an award ourselves.”

VisitEngland Chief Executive, Sally Balcombe, said: “These awards celebrate businesses and individuals in tourism across England who have exceeded expectations and delivered excellence during the last 18 months and it is fantastic to see such an outstanding list of finalists.

“The impressive list reflects the sheer scale of innovation, quality and experiences across our tourism landscape and I congratulate all the finalists and wish them the very best of luck.

“Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards are also a timely opportunity to acknowledge the determination and dedication of tourism businesses across the country who have worked extremely hard to reopen and welcome visitors back safely.”

The full list of national finalists can be viewed here.

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Winners of the North East England Tourism Awards announced

Businesses across the North East were revealed as winners of this year’s North East England Tourism Awards at a virtual event today (Thursday 23 April 2020). The quality and diversity of the tourism industry were celebrated as the region comes together to support the industry in these challenging times.

During the online event, judges for each category outlined the strengths of the winning applications. At a difficult time for the industry, businesses from across the region were celebrated for their amazing contribution to the North East tourism offer.  

Sage Gateshead and Falconry Days were both double winners, with Maldron Hotel Newcastle taking home the New Tourism Business Award – one of three new categories introduced for the 2020 awards alongside Experience of the Year and the International Tourism Award. 

The full list of Gold winners: 

  • Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award – Sage Gateshead
  • B&B and Guest House of the Year – St Cuthbert’s House
  • Business Events Venue of the Year – Sage Gateshead
  • Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year – Seafield Caravan Park
  • Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award – South Tynedale Railway
  • Experience of the Year – CBK’s Adventure Co.
  • Large Hotel of the Year – Matfen Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa
  • Small Hotel of the Year – Seaham Hall
  • International Tourism Award – Falconry Days
  • New Tourism Business Award – Maldron Hotel Newcastle
  • Pub of the Year – The Apple Inn
  • Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year – St Oswald’s Farm
  • Taste of North East England Award – Dobson & Parnell
  • Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
  • Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Falconry Days

Sarah Green, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, who organise the awards, said: “A huge congratulations to this year’s winners and all those who continue to contribute so much to the North East tourism sector. Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on the sector but these awards demonstrate the quality of the North East tourism offer and give us confidence that once the current situation eases the region will be in a strong place to benefit from a predicted upturn in domestic and day tourism.

“Along with our colleagues in tourism organisations across the North East, we will continue to invest in marketing, with a strong digital and media presence, to ensure that tourists are aware of our fantastic region and have us front of mind when planning for future visits.”

The North East England Tourism Awards were once again sponsored by Newcastle College and Bidfood.

The format of the awards was tweaked this year so that they now align more closely with the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and reflect innovations across the industry. Eligible winners of the North East England Tourism Awards will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020.

Each of the shortlisted businesses went through a thorough judging process, focused on experiencing their offer first-hand. As well as being evaluated by a judging panel made up of industry experts, planned visits by judges or ‘mystery shoppers’ helped to inform the final decisions.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative has worked alongside Northern Tourism Alliance members and other partners to deliver the awards in 2020. The Northern Tourism Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the region. The North East England Tourism Awards are supported by Northumberland Tourism, Northumberland County Council, Visit County Durham, South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council.

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Full list of winners:

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

Gold – Sage Gateshead
Silver – Go North East
Bronze – South Tynedale Railway

B&B and Guest House of the Year

Gold – St Cuthbert’s House
Silver – Millstone House Bed and Breakfast
Bronze – Market Cross Guest House
Highly commended – Layside Bed and Breakfast
Highly commended – St Valery Boutique and Breakfast 

Business Events Venue of the Year

Gold – Sage Gateshead
Silver – Newcastle City Council Civic Centre Banqueting
Bronze – Event Durham, Durham University
Highly commended – The Biscuit Factory
Highly commended – Northumbria University – Venues at Northumbria

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

Gold – Seafield Caravan Park
Silver – Hesleyside Huts
Bronze – Westfield House Farm Shepherd’s Huts
Highly commended – Herding Hill Farm Touring, Camping and Glamping Site

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

Gold – South Tynedale Railway
Silver – Battlesteads
Bronze – Sage Gateshead
Highly commended – Westfield House Farm
Highly commended – St Cuthbert’s House

Experience of the Year

Gold – CBK’s Adventure Co.
Silver – Footsteps in Northumberland
Bronze – The Alnwick Garden
Highly commended – Falconry Days 

Large Hotel of the Year

Gold – Matfen Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa
Silver – Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa
Bronze – The Vermont Hotel
Highly commended – Doxford Hall Hotel

Small Hotel of the Year

Gold – Seaham Hall
Silver – Walwick Hall
Bronze – Lord Crewe Arms
Highly commended – Battlesteads
Highly commended – Wynyard Hall

International Tourism Award

Gold – Falconry Days
Silver – Event Durham, Durham University

New Tourism Business Award

Gold – Maldron Hotel Newcastle
Silver – The Amble Inn
Bronze – Shepherds Retreats Ltd
Highly commended – STACK Newcastle
Highly commended – Spanish City

Pub of the Year

Gold – The Apple Inn
Silver – The Angel of Corbridge
Bronze – Twice Brewed Inn
Highly commended – The Botanist Newcastle

Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year

Gold – St Oswald’s Farm
Silver – Mains Cottages
Bronze – Brunton House and Cottages
Highly commended – Vindomora Country Lodges

Taste of North East England Award

Gold – Dobson & Parnell
Silver – Restaurant Hjem
Bronze – Battlesteads
Highly commended – Barrasford Arms

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
Silver – The Alnwick Garden
Bronze – Bamburgh Castle
Highly commended – Beamish, The Living Museum of the North
Highly commended – Great North Museum: Hancock

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – Falconry Days
Silver – Newham Grange Farm
Bronze – Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums – Arbeia South Shields’ Roman Fort

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North East England Tourism Awards winners set to be announced in virtual ceremony

Winners of the North East England Tourism Awards 2020 are set to be announced in a virtual ceremony on Thursday 23 April, 12-1pm, on the North East Tourism Awards facebook page.

We are taking an innovative approach to announcing the awards and celebrating the quality and diversity of the tourism businesses that we have here in our region. Whilst we currently can’t visit the North East’s great tourism offer, it is more important than ever that we recognise all of our outstanding businesses. Eligible winners of the awards will automatically feed into the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020, ensuring we promote the best of the region on a national stage.

Each of the shortlisted businesses has been through a thorough judging process, focused on experiencing their offer first-hand. As well as being evaluated by a judging panel made up of industry experts, planned visits by judges or ‘mystery shoppers’ helped to inform the final decisions.

Please join us on Thursday 23 April, 12-1pm, where we will be hosting a virtual awards event on our North East England Tourism Awards facebook page. Make sure you ‘like’ the page so you don’t miss any posts in the run up to the event and log in at 12 noon to watch the event unfold on the big day.

We’ll be announcing the winners in a series of short films and you’ll hear more from the judges about what makes the winning businesses so outstanding.

We would love it if you could support the awards and show the shortlisted businesses some love by engaging with the posts – comment, like, share and celebrate the fantastic tourism offering that we have here in the North East.

The awards could even be an excuse to enjoy a celebratory lunch and glass of fizz from wherever you’re watching – be that your kitchen table, sofa or socially-distanced workplace!

We hope to ‘see’ you there.

Stay safe!

The North East England Tourism Awards team at NewcastleGateshead Initiative

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North East England Tourism Awards event cancelled due to COVID-19

In light of increasing concerns about the impact of events and public gatherings on the spread of Covid -19, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel the planned dinner in celebration of the North East England Tourism Awards, which was due to take place on Tuesday 24 March at Newcastle Civic Centre.

This decision was taken to protect all of our guests and staff as a matter of priority.

All of the hard work judging the awards and selecting the winners (always an incredibly difficult task!) has been completed, and the winners will be announced shortly and fed into the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. Whilst we would have loved to postpone our dinner and celebrate at a later date with all of our shortlisted businesses, we wanted to ensure that all winners are entered into the national awards in plenty of time, hence the decision to cancel and move ahead swiftly with the announcements.

Despite being unable to have a physical event, we will still be shouting about all of the fantastic entries and winners and we are currently planning how we maximise the profile and PR for all shortlisted nominees.

In the meantime, we apologise for any inconvenience caused but hope that you understand why we came to this difficult decision made in unprecedented circumstances.

The team at NGI will work with our tourism colleagues across the region to support the sector during this difficult period. We are collating intelligence daily on the impact of Covid-19 by working closely with both national and regional partners and will ensure you’re kept as up to date as we are through regular communications. Please do check our web page for regular updates.

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North East success at Visit England Tourism Awards

The North East enjoyed a successful night at the prestigious Visit England Awards for Excellence with six organisations taking home awards.

The awards celebrate businesses and individuals that continuously raise the bar of England’s tourism offer.

Among the winners were Sage Gateshead and Northumberland’s Laverock Law Cottages who won Gold in the Business Tourism and Sustainable Tourism categories respectively.

The other winners on the night from the North East were Seafield Caravan Park, Go North East, Hall Hill Farm and Seaham Hall.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held at the Bath Assembly Rooms.

The full list of North East winners at the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2018:

Business Tourism Award

Gold – Sage Gateshead

Sustainable Tourism Award

Gold – Laverock Law Cottages

Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year

Silver – Seafield Caravan Park

Innovation in Tourism Award

Silver – Go North East

Small Visitor Attraction

Silver – Hall Hill Farm

Hotel of the Year

Bronze – Seaham Hall

All winners of the North East England Tourism Awards were eligible to enter the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. The North East England Tourism Awards are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance.

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2020 shortlist announced for new look North East Tourism Awards

NEETA 2019

Businesses from across the region are celebrating after being shortlisted for the revamped North East England Tourism Awards 2020.

Nearly 150 applications were received for the North East England Tourism Awards and businesses completed new application forms and underwent a different judging system with a greater focus on experiencing the North East tourism industry first-hand.

Shortlisted businesses include Sage Gateshead, The Alnwick Garden and St Cuthbert’s House, all of which are shortlisted in two different categories, and Battlesteads which is shortlisted in three categories. First time applicant Falconry Days was also shortlisted in three categories.

Local Geordie and critically acclaimed stand-up comedian and TV host Chris Ramsey will be the compere for the Awards. Alongside hosting the ceremony on Tuesday 24 March 2020, the Strictly Come Dancing star will also be doing a short stand-up routine.

The awards play a key role in highlighting the importance of tourism in the region, which continues to be the fourth largest sector in the North East economy.

The format of the Awards has been tweaked this year so that they now align more closely with the modernised VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, which are celebrating their 30th year. To mark this, VisitEngland launched the revamped Awards to reflect innovations across England’s tourism industry.

New categories introduced for the North East England Tourism Awards 2020 include Experience of the Year, International Tourism Award and New Tourism Business Award. Eligible winners of all categories will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020.

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said:

“Having launched the new look Tourism Awards for 2020, it’s great to see the number and quality of applications that we have received. The refreshed format aligns the Awards more closely with the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and gives a wider range of businesses a chance to be successful thanks to the new categories.

“Already in 2019 we have hosted large scale events such as the European Rugby Finals, World Transplant Games and Tall Ships, and the tourism sector continues to flourish in the North East. These Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the important contribution that the industry makes to the region.”

Newcastle College and Bidfood are continuing their support for the awards as event sponsors for 2020.

Lisa Hamilton-Murray, Assistant Principal at Newcastle College, said:

“Newcastle College is delighted to be sponsoring the North East Tourism Awards for another year. The North East has a flourishing tourism industry and we have a significant tourism provision at the College for young people looking to forge successful careers in the sector.

“We work in partnership with many of the fantastic employers associated with these awards allowing our students to benefit from fantastic work experience opportunities in some of the best hotels, restaurants and resorts. The Tourism Awards are a great way to celebrate the success of the industry in the North East.”

Jane Tiplady, General Manager of Bidfood North East, said:

“We are delighted to be event sponsors of the North East England Tourism Awards for the third year running. It’s fantastic to see so many of our region’s outstanding tourism and hospitality businesses recognised through these awards.

“This year, we are also sponsoring the ‘Small Hotel of the Year’ category and we are looking forward to celebrating those organisations that always aim to deliver the best possible experience for visitors to our region.”

Tickets to attend the awards at Newcastle Civic Centre are priced at £67.50 and are available to buy online here.

The North East England Tourism Awards are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance.

The Northern Tourism Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the region. The founding members of the alliance are NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism, Visit County Durham, and The North East Hotels Association. The North East England Tourism Awards are also supported by South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council.

2020 Shortlist:

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

Sage Gateshead
Go North East
South Tynedale Railway
The Joiners Arms

B&B and Guest House of the Year

Market Cross Guest House
Millstone House Bed and Breakfast
Layside Bed and Breakfast
St Cuthbert’s House
St Valery Boutique B&B

Business Events Venue of the Year

Event Durham, Durham University
The Biscuit Factory
Newcastle City Council Civic Centre Banqueting
Venues at Northumbria University
Sage Gateshead

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

Herding Hill Farm Touring, Camping and Glamping Site
Hesleyside Huts
Seafield Caravan Park
Westfield House Farm Shepherd’s Huts

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

South Tynedale Railway
Westfield House Farm
Battlesteads
Sage Gateshead
St Cuthbert’s House

Experience of the Year

Footsteps in Northumberland
Falconry Days
The Alnwick Garden
CBK’s Adventure Co.

Large Hotel of the Year

Vermont Hotel
Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa
Matfen Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa
Doxford Hall Hotel and Spa

Small Hotel of the Year

Lord Crewe Arms
Walwick Hall
Seaham Hall
Wynyard Hall
Battlesteads

International Tourism Award

Event Durham, Durham University
Falconry Days

New Tourism Business Award

Shepherds Retreats Ltd
The Amble Inn
Maldron Hotel Newcastle
STACK Newcastle
Spanish City

Pub of the Year

The Apple Inn
The Angel of Corbridge
Twice Brewed Inn
The Botanist

Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year

St Oswald’s Farm
Mains Cottages
Brunton House and Cottages
Vindomora Country Lodges

Taste of North East England Award

Dobson & Parnell
Restaurant Hjem
Barrasford Arms
Battlesteads

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Bamburgh Castle
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
Beamish, The Living Museum of the North
Great North Museum: Hancock
The Alnwick Garden

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Newham Grange Farm
Falconry Days
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums – Arbeia South Shields’ Roman Fort

For media enquiries contact: Finlay Magowan, Media & PR Manager