Tourist board VisitEngland has revealed the winners for the Awards for Excellence 2016 at its 27th annual ceremony held last night at the Winter Gardens Blackpool.
Celebrating excellence across the industry, the ceremony announced 16 winners including Best Tourism Experience, Best Visitor Attraction and Best Large Hotel and a new category for this year, the Best Dog Friendly Business.
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.
The Tourism Superstar 2016 winner was also recognised at the ceremony - Lilian Groves, senior guide at Durham Cathedral in Durham City, recently won the VisitEngland competition with 22% of the total votes cast. 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.
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 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.
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."
Access for All
Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation
Business TourismCrewe Hall, Crewe, Cheshire
Dog Friendly Business
Holiday Park/Holiday VillageWoodovis Park, Tavistock, Devon
Large HotelRockliffe Hall, Darlington, County Durham
Large Visitor AttractionThe Whitworth, the University of Manchester
Self-catering Holiday ProviderTreworgey Cottages, Looe, Cornwall
Small Visitor Attraction
Sustainable TourismRailholiday, Saltash, Cornwall
Taste of EnglandEckington Manor, Eckington, Worcestershire
Tourism ExperienceLivingstone Lodge Overnight Safari Experience, Ashford, Kent
Tourism PubThe Fleece Inn, Bretforton, Worcestershire
Visitor Information Provider
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