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Search is on for York's Tourism Stars

The hunt for York’s tourism stars is on once again, with the launch of the 2013 Visit York Tourism Awards. The awards showcase the best of the best in tourism across the city and its surroundings, awarding businesses across thirteen categories, from ‘Hotel of the Year’ to the ‘Outstanding Customer Service Award’.

Jane Lady Gibson, Chairman at Visit York, said, ‘In a climate of increased competition, from both UK and European destinations, it is important that we recognise and highlight the high quality of the city’s tourism businesses to ensure York maintains its competitive edge and continues to flourish.’

New this year is the addition of two awards to highlight York’s position as Britain’s best Gastro destination - Restaurant of the Year and Café/Tearoom of the Year. In recognition of an eventful 2012, there will also be a third new category - Visitor Experience of the Year.

Tourism businesses are now being asked to put in their entries across the thirteen categories, which are: Hotel of the Year; Guest Accommodation of the Year; Self-catering/Caravan Park of the Year; Visitor Attraction of the Year; Conference Venue of the Year; Outstanding Customer Service Award; Marketing Campaign of the Year; Shopping Experience of the Year; Restaurant of the Year; Café/Tearoom of the Year; Visitor Experience of the Year; and the highly prestigious title of York Tourism Ambassador.

A panel of independent judges will decide on the final shortlist and subsequent winners, with the public voting on a on their favourite pub or bar to enjoy a tipple in the final category. Whether it is your favourite place to enjoy a pint of real ale or a quirky cocktail, Visit York wants to hear your views – votes can be made at or on or using #BestYorkPubBar

Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Tourism, said ‘The tourism sector is a vital part of York’s economy contributing £443 million and supporting 23,000 jobs in and around the city. It is a vibrant and dynamic industry which thrives on the energy of the individuals and businesses working within it and who contribute everyday to York’s standing as a world class visitor destination.’

A Black Tie Awards ceremony announcing the tourism winners will be held on Thursday 9th May 2013. The deadline for entries is Friday 22 February 2013 and businesses can enter online at Winners of the Visit York Awards will have the opportunity to then go forward to the regional White Rose Awards and national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. ENDS.

For further information please contact:

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Visit York
Direct Line: 01904 554436

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Communications – Visit York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07961 828092

Notes To The Editor

Tourism Ambassador Award
This award goes to an individual who consistently goes out of his or her way to ensure visitors have a memorable time in York and leave wanting to revisit. Previous winners have included a bus driver, a taxi driver and a tour guide. The 2012 winner was Ian Reed, Director of Yorkshire Air Museum, whose dedicated work over the last twenty years raised the profile of York around the world.

2012 Visit York Tourism Award Winners
• Hotel of the Year, Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
• Guest Accommodation of the Year, Bishops
• Self-catering/Caravan Park of the Year, Dovecote Barns
• Pub of the Year, The Golden Fleece
• Outstanding Customer Service Award, Shirley Fletcher – Hilton York
• Business Tourism Award, York Marriott Hotel
• Marketing Campaign of the Year, York Maze
• Employee of the Year, Alan Rowley – Complete Yorkshire
• Best Shopping Experience, The Hairy Fig
• Visitor Attraction of the Year (under 50,000 visitors), The Ice Factor
• Visitor Attraction of the Year (50,000 visitors & over), York Racecourse 2011 season
• Taste of York – The People’s Choice Award, El Piano
• York Tourism Ambassador, Ian Reed – Yorkshire Air Museum

Visit York

• Visit York is supported by the City of York Council and over 700 tourism businesses and works in partnership with Visit England.
• Visit York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure and business visitor, and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. Visit York is responsible for leisure and conference marketing, visitor services (running the city’s Visitor Information Centre), training and ensuring a quality visitor experience.
• Visit York is the driving force of the city’s tourism industry. Key facts:
7.1 million visitors
£443 million total visitor spend
23, 000 jobs