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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.

Ends

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

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Chris Ramsey to host revamped North East England Tourism Awards

Chris Ramsey

Local Geordie and critically acclaimed stand-up comedian and TV host Chris Ramsey has been announced as the compere for the 2020 North East England Tourism Awards. Alongside hosting the Awards ceremony on Tuesday 24 March, he will be doing a short stand-up routine.

Tourism businesses in the North East are now being encouraged to enter the Awards with less than a month to go until applications close at 9am on Monday 7 October. The Awards celebrate quality, innovation and best practice throughout the region, highlighting the North East’s exciting visitor offering.

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 2020 North East England Tourism Awards include Experience of the Year, International Tourism Award and New Tourism Business Award.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “It’s brilliant to have Chris Ramsey compering the revamped Awards in 2020. Being a Geordie, he knows all about the North East and our amazing tourism sector and is a perfect fit for the Awards.

“The North East England Tourism Awards are a great way for us to celebrate the success of our tourism sector and give local businesses the opportunity to showcase the region on a national stage. The refreshed format aligns the Awards more closely with the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and reflects changes in the industry, such as the impact of digital technology, demand for experienced-based travel and the need to tailor tourism products for international visitors.”

It has been confirmed that Bidfood and Newcastle College will continue their support for the Awards as event sponsors for 2020.

Lisa Hamilton-Murray, assistant principal at Newcastle College, said: “At Newcastle College we have a significant number of students working towards a career in the sector. On completion of their course they contribute significantly to the North East tourism industry and that’s why we’re delighted to align ourselves to these awards for another year.

“We pride ourselves on our fantastic partnerships with the best regional and national hotels, restaurants and resorts. These links provide our students with valuable work experience, creating opportunities for them to forge successful careers within the sector.

“The North East Tourism Awards are a great opportunity to support and celebrate the successes of the thriving tourism industry in the North East.”

Jane Tiplady, General Manager of Bidfood North East, said: “This is the third year running that we have sponsored the North East England Tourism Awards, and we are delighted to be doing so. Due to the new format of the Awards, even more fantastic tourism and hospitality businesses from across the region have the chance to be recognised.

“At Bidfood North East we are extremely proud of the region and can’t wait to celebrate those organisations that go above and beyond to deliver the best possible experience to those visiting the region.”

New application forms and a different judging system are part of the revamped Awards, with a greater focus on experiencing the North East tourism industry first-hand. Eligible winners of certain categories will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020.

The Awards are supported by the North East Tourism Alliance – 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.

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Revamped North East England Tourism Awards for 2020

Tourism businesses in the North East are being encouraged to enter the new-look North East England Tourism Awards as applications open today (Thursday 6 June).

The North East England Tourism Awards celebrate quality, innovation and best practice throughout the region, highlighting the North East’s exciting visitor offering.

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

The revamped awards will see new application forms and a different judging system, with a greater focus on experiencing the North East tourism industry first-hand. New categories introduced for tourism businesses to enter include Experience of the Year, International Tourism Award and New Tourism Business Award.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “The North East England Tourism Awards are a great way for us to celebrate the success of our tourism sector and give local businesses the opportunity to showcase the region on a national stage. The refreshed format aligns the Awards more closely with the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and reflects changes in the industry, such as the impact of digital technology, demand for experienced-based travel and the need to tailor tourism products for international visitors.

“We’re encouraging all tourism businesses in the North East, from hotels and pubs, to restaurants and attractions, to seize the opportunity and enter the new-look North East England Tourism Awards. Tourism continues to be the fourth largest sector in the North East economy and the Awards help us recognise the important contribution it makes to the region.”

It has been confirmed that Bidfood will continue its support for the Awards as event sponsors for 2020.

Jane Stewart, General Manager of Bidfood North East, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the North East England Tourism Awards again. Due to the new format of the Awards, even more fantastic tourism and hospitality businesses from across the region have the chance to be recognised.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating those organisations that go above and beyond to deliver the best possible experience to those visiting the region.”

Applications for the North East England Tourism Awards will close on 9am on Monday 7th October 2019 with the Awards ceremony taking place on Tuesday 24th March 2020. Eligible winners of certain categories will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020.

More information can be found at www.NorthEastTourismAwards.com.

The Awards are supported by the North East Tourism Alliance – 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.

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North East tourism stars celebrated at record-breaking awards

Leading tourism businesses from across the North East were celebrating last night as winners of the North East England Tourism Awards were announced.

BBC Radio Newcastle breakfast show presenter Alfie Joey hosted the awards and entertained guests throughout the evening at Newcastle Civic Centre.

After a record year for the awards, with nearly 150 applications, winners on the night included Lord Crewe Arms who walked away with two gold awards and The Alnwick Garden who won the hotly contested Large Visitor Attraction of the Year Award.

The full list of Gold winners:

Hotel of the Year – Langley Castle Hotel
Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year – Lord Crewe Arms
Bed and Breakfast of the Year – Brunswick House and St. Cuthbert’s House
Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year – St. Oswald’s Farm
Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year – Doe Park Caravan Site
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – The Auckland Project – Mining Art Gallery
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – The Alnwick Garden
Guided Tour of the Year – Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours
Dog Friendly Business of the Year – Lord Crewe Arms
Tourism Pub of the Year – Barrasford Arms
Taste of England Award – Blackfriars Restaurant
Sustainable Tourism Award – Laverock Law Cottages and Shepherds Hut
Inclusive Tourism Award – Sage Gateshead
Business Tourism Award – Event Durham, Durham University
Visitor Information Provider of the Year – Durham Pointers

The awards play a key role in celebrating and showcasing the range of quality tourism businesses that visitors to the North East encounter. The tourism sector continues to be the fourth largest in the region, highlighting the importance of the businesses working in the sector to the wider economy.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and those who contribute to the success of the North East tourism sector. This year we received a record number of applications and all the categories were tightly contested.

“From our thriving city centres through to our beautiful coastline and stunning countryside, the tourism sector in the North East continues to flourish and grow. Next year, among other events, we will welcome the World Transplant Games and European Professional Club Rugby Finals to the region which will have a major impact on the region and the tourism industry.”

Newcastle College and Bidfood continued their support for the awards as event sponsors for 2018.

Lisa Hamilton-Murray, assistant principal at Newcastle College, said: “It has been a delight for Newcastle College to sponsor the North East Tourism Awards once again. The success stories showcased at the event show just how much the North East has to offer to visitors, as well as those who live and work here, and how the sector is helping to drive our region forward.

“We are lucky enough to work in partnership with many of those celebrated at the awards, offering our students the chance to experience working in some of the best businesses in the region and these awards are a great opportunity for us to support and celebrate the industry alongside them.”

Speaking about the awards, Susan Justice, Head of Business Development at Bidfood, said: “We are delighted to have sponsored the North East England Tourism Awards for the second year running. There are so many brilliant hospitality and tourism businesses across the North East, and these awards are a fantastic way to see those worthy businesses recognised for all their hard work.

“This year, we sponsored the ‘Large Visitor Attraction of the Year’ category, which commended those organisations that have truly gone above and beyond to deliver the best possible experience to people visiting the North East.”

In 2019 the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence will celebrate 30 years of the awards and success in English tourism and winners from the North East England Tourism Awards will be highlighted as part of the celebrations.

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

The North East 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.

Full list of winners:

Hotel of the Year

Gold – Langley Castle Hotel
Silver – Seaham Hall
Bronze – Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa
Bronze – Gisborough Hall Hotel
Highly commended – Headlam Hall Country Hotel & Spa

Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year

Gold – Lord Crewe Arms
Silver – William De Percy
Bronze – Barrasford Arms

Bed and Breakfast of the Year

Gold – Brunswick House
Gold – St. Cuthbert’s House
Bronze – Layside Bed & Breakfast
Highly commended – Budle Hall
Highly commended – Moor End Guest House

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year

Gold – St. Oswald’s Farm
Silver – Woodside Lodge
Bronze – Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd.
Highly commended – Brown Rigg Lodges and Guest Rooms

Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year

Gold – Doe Park Caravan Site
Bronze – North Shire
Bronze – The Paddock Touring Park Wolsingham

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – The Auckland Project – Mining Art Gallery
Silver – South Tynedale Railway
Silver – Wynyard Garden
Bronze – Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – The Alnwick Garden
Silver – Beamish, The Living Museum of the North
Bronze – Whitehouse Farm Centre
Highly commended – Alnwick Castle

Guided Tour of the Year

Gold – Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours
Silver – Lundgren Tours Ltd.
Bronze – Behind the Books @ the Lit & Phil
Highly commended – Chillingham Wild Cattle Association (CWCA)

Dog Friendly Business of the Year

Gold – Lord Crewe Arms
Silver – Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd.
Bronze – South Tynedale Railway
Highly commended – The Lindisfarne Inn

Tourism Pub of the Year

Gold – Barrasford Arms
Silver – Lord Crewe Arms
Bronze – The Lindisfarne Inn
Bronze – The Twice Brewed

Taste of England Award

Gold – Blackfriars Restaurant
Silver – The Potted Lobster
Bronze – Block & Bottle
Bronze – Lord Crewe Arms

Sustainable Tourism Award

Gold – Laverock Law Cottages and Shepherds Hut
Silver – St. Cuthbert’s House

Inclusive Tourism Award

Gold – Sage Gateshead
Silver – Go North East
Bronze – The Commissioners Quay Inn
Highly commended – The Hog’s Head Inn

Business Tourism Award

Gold – Event Durham, Durham University
Silver – Sage Gateshead
Bronze – Civic Centre Banqueting Suites, Newcastle Civic Centre, Newcastle City Council

Visitor Information Provider of the Year

Gold – Durham Pointers
Silver – Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre