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New host announced for 20th anniversary of tourism awards

Photograph of people standing beside Ophelia B

Radio Pride presenter Ophelia B will be the host of this year’s North East England Tourism Awards, being held in March.

Ophelia, who also hosts the annual Drag Idol Newcastle, will be the hostess with the mostest for the 20th anniversary of the awards at the city’s Civic Centre.

The awards will see tourism businesses and attractions from across the region battling it out in 16 categories. Winners of some of the categories will then go on to compete at a national level in the Visit England Awards for Excellence.

Businesses including The Sage Gateshead; Langley Castle and Beamish Museum are hoping for gold at the awards on Thurs, March 23. The awards are once again sponsored by Bidfood UK and Newcastle College.  

Ophelia said: “I am thrilled to have been asked to host the North East England Tourism Awards. It will be a real honour to be part of the night and celebrate with all these amazing businesses.

“I am hoping to add a bit of my own sparkle and pizazz to the evening and will be making sure everyone has a fun night.”

Tickets for the awards are now on sale and are priced £45+VAT each or £450+VAT for a table of 10.

Ian Thomas, Director of Destination at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, who deliver the awards, said: “It’s fantastic to have Ophelia on board, especially in our anniversary year, when we want the awards to be even more special.

“We also want to thank Bidfood UK and Newcastle College for their continued support for the industry and the awards as event sponsors. The partnership work we do with them and others in the region is an integral part of ensuring hospitality and tourism gets the spotlight it deserves and we have a skilled, talented workforce who want to make their careers in tourism and hospitality.

“If you haven’t already got your tickets for the ceremony, make sure you get them booked and come and join the party!”

Scott Bullock, Principal of Newcastle College commented: “Newcastle College is proud to once again support the North East Tourism Awards, especially at such an exciting time for the region’s tourism sector.

“As a college, we work closely with NGI and with local venues and destinations to help prepare young people in our region for their future career in the industry. The Tourism Awards are always a fantastic opportunity for our learners to gain new skills and experience and we look forward to another excellent event that shines an important light on the North East’s hospitality and tourism businesses.”

Pete Adamson, Head of Sales at Bidfood Gateshead, said: “We are delighted to once again be sponsoring the 20th Anniversary of the North East Tourism Awards. There are so many incredible tourism and hospitality businesses located across the North East and it’s great to see them recognised through these awards.

“Building on the fantastic success of previous awards ceremonies, we can’t wait to celebrate those local businesses that go above and beyond to deliver the best possible experience to those visiting the region.”

Tickets can be purchased here: 

To find out more and see to see the full shortlist for the 2023 North East England Tourism Awards go to