The seventh annual England's Northwest Tourism Awards took place at The Point at Lancashire County Cricket Club last night.
Organised by the North West Development Agency, the awards celebrate the best of the region's tourism sector and provide "a showcase for industry best-practice and top quality tourism businesses" in Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Liverpool and Cheshire.
A total of 16 accolades were presented to winners from across the region. In addition to receiving an award, the regional winners will also have the opportunity to represent the North West in the national awards, organised by VisitEngland in 2011.
The full list of winners included:
- Bed & Breakfast – Number 43, Arnside, Cumbria
- Holiday Park – Woodclose Park, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
- Self Catering – The Old Shippon at Mellor, Lancashire
- Taste of England's Northwest – The Cottage in the Wood, Keswick, Cumbria
- Tourism for All – Chill Factore, Trafford, Manchester
- Tourist Information Centre – Morecambe Visitor Information Centre, Lancashire
- Tourism Experience – Cumbrian Heavy Horses, Millom, Cumbria
- Small Visitor Attraction – Chester Heritage Tours, Chester, Cheshire
- Large Visitor Attraction – Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
- Excellence in Customer Service – Sandcastle Waterpark Team, Blackpool, Lancashire
- Sustainable Tourism Award – Clough Bottom Farm Cottages, Clitheroe, Lancashire
- Public Space Award – Dream, St Helens, Liverpool city region
- Tourism Event – Manchester International Festival, Manchester
- Business Tourism – Manchester Central Convention Complex, Manchester
- Small Hotel – Overwater Hall, near Keswick, Cumbria
- Large Hotel – The Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Manchester
Host for the evening Felicity Goodey, chair of tourism in England's Northwest was also honored with a special recognition prize, awarded by NWDA chairman, Robert Hough.
Goodey said: "It just gets better and better. Each year we celebrate some of the best of our many outstanding businesses which, together, have established the Northwest as one of the most popular visitor destinations in the country. We are used to them going on to win national awards and I have every confidence that last night's winners will be the ones to beat at the next national finals. The region owes them a big 'thankyou'. It's their vision backed up by hard work, training and investment which have built tourism into one of this region's most important industries."
Nick Brooks-Sykes, director of tourism at the NWDA, added: "Congratulations also to Felicity Goodey, who was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award. Felicity's dedication and leadership has transformed the region's visitor economy into a multi-billion pound industry, marked by world-class destinations that continue to draw in thousands of visitors every year."
Six judges' commendations were also handed out on the night, in recognition of the exceptionally high standards in a number of the award categories.
The six highly commended included:
- Bed & Breakfast – Cherry Clough Farmhouse Accommodation, Manchester
- Holiday Park – Skelwith Fold Caravan Park, Cumbria
- Tourist Information Centre – Appleby Tourist Information Centre, Cumbria
- Tourism Experience – Shark Dives at Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire
- Large Visitor Attraction – The Beatles Story, Liverpool
- Excellence in Customer Service – James Fosbrook, The Alvanley Arms Inn, Cheshire