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News release - Issued by Visit York

Putting the spotlight on York’s Tourism Superstars Businesses urged to enter for Oscars of the North… Entries now Open!

Entries are now officially open for the prestigious Visit York Tourism Awards, returning on 21 June to shine the spotlight on excellence in the tourism industry and reward outstanding service, innovation and quality. The event will provide a fantastic platform to showcase your business to a 500 strong audience from across York’s tourism sector.

These prestigious Tourism Oscars of the North will be held in the Great Hall of the National Railway Museum, where guests will rub shoulders with railway legends, from history-makers to record-breakers.

Businesses from across the city, from hotels to restaurants, pubs to visitor attractions have until the deadline on 1 March to submit their winning entries. Online registration has been launched today for these annual awards which recognize the cream of the crop in tourism across the city and beyond.

Sally Greenaway, Head of Visit York, a part of Make It York, said: “The Visit York annual tourism awards are a brilliant showcase for the talent, hard work and creativity of the city’s tourism sector. Winning an award can really help to differentiate your business as well as motivate and thank your team.”

The fifteen award categories for 2018 are:

Bed and Breakfast or Guest House the Year, Café or Tearoom of the Year, Conference Venue of the Year, Family Friendly Experience of the Year, Hotel of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Outstanding Customer Service, Pub or Bar of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Self-catering venue of the Year, Shopping Experience of the Year, Visitor Attraction of the Year (over 50,000 visitors), Visitor Attraction of the Year (under 50,000), Visitor Experience of the Year, Guided Tour of the Year (new category for 2018), Wedding Venue of the Year (new category for 2018) and the Visit York Tourism Champion 2018. This award category is in recognition of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to York’s Tourism Industry and will be chosen by an independent panel of judges.

A panel of independent judges will decide on the final shortlist and winners through a mix of mystery shopping by Shopper Anonymous and rigorous analysis against the entry criteria.

The prestigious Black Tie Awards ceremony announcing the winners will be held on Thursday 21 June at the National Railway Museum, compered by Minster FM presenter Ben Fry. Businesses can download the forms and enter the Visit York Tourism Awards online at Winners can then go forward to the regional White Rose Awards and national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

Will Zhuang, who was awarded the coveted ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award in the 2017 awards said: “York’s tourism sector is flourishing and I’m delighted to be playing a key role in raising the profile of York, especially in China. It has been a privilege to help make the connections with Chinese tour operators and hotels and venues in York. I’m looking forward to seeing who makes it to the shortlist this year.”


For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Communications – Visit York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852

Notes to Editors:

Make It York
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

Key tourism facts:
6.9 million visitors annually, £564 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs


2017 Visit York Tourism Award Winners were:

Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2017:

B&B of the Year
Sponsored by Little Hotelier

Winner: Tower Guest House

Highly Commended: The Bar Convent Guest House

Carr House Farm Bed and Breakfast
Lil's on the Waterfront

Café or Tearoom of the Year
Sponsored by Booker York

Winner: El Piano

Countess of York at the NRM
The Balloon Tree Farmshop & Café
The Garden Room at The Principal York

Conference Venue of the Year
Sponsored by Colour Options

Winner: The Principal York

Highly Commended: The National Centre for Early Music (NCEM)

The Bar Convent (Conferencing)
York Science Park

Family Friendly Experience of the Year
Sponsored by P&O Ferries

Winner: Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland

The Bloody Tour of York
York Art Gallery
York Maze

Hotel of the Year
Sponsored by Streamline Taxis

Winner: The Principal York

Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa
Hotel du Vin York
Hotel Indigo York
The Black Swan Hotel

Newcomer of the Year
Sponsored by Hungate York Regeneration

Winner: Can You Escape? York

Brew York Craft Brewery & Tap Room
Joe's Kitchen
Staycity Paragon Street York
The Botanist York

Outstanding Customer Service
Sponsored by Manchester Airport

Winner: Alison Storey (York Racecourse)

Anna Bialockleb (The Whippet Inn)
Damian Palmer-Bunting (Robin Hood Caravan)
Edward Kelly (Stay City)
Frank Caulfield (Dean Court Hotel)

Pub of the Year
Sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd

Winner: Pairings Wine Bar

The Blue Bell
The Chapter House at The Principal York
The Drovers Arms
Thomas's of York Pub & Kitchen

Restaurant of the Year
Sponsored by Morrell Middleton

Winner: The Whippet Inn Steak & Alehouse

Ambiente Tapas
Melton's Restaurant
The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub
The Raj
The Weathervane Restaurant

Self-catering Venue of the Year
Sponsored by Yorkshire Laundry

Winner: The Old Brewery, York

Highly Commended: Robin Hood Caravan & Camping Park

Forest Holidays
York Stay Holidays

Shopping Experience of the Year
Sponsored by York BID

Winner: Käthe Wohlfahrt, Mulberry Hall

Bishy Road
Pandora's Box

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Over 50,000 Visitors)
Sponsored by F R Fowler & Son

Winner: York Art Gallery

Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum
Energi Trampoline Park York
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
The York Dungeon

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Under 50,000 Visitors)
Sponsored by First Group

Winner: National Centre for Birds of Prey

Go Ape Dalby
The Bloody Tour of York
York Army Museum

Visitor Experience of the Year
Sponsored by Virgin Trains East Coast

Winner: Hallowscream at York Maze

BOBH - Day Trips from York
Eboracum Roman Festival
Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland

Visit York Outstanding Contribution Award 2017
Sponsored by The Great Yorkshire Fringe

Awarded to: Will Zhuang

There are four fantastic reasons to enter:

Your chance to be different - Winning or even being nominated for a Visit York Tourism Award offers the chance for you to differentiate your business against your competitors. This endorsement could be the difference between winning or losing business you are pitching for.

Great PR - Winning an award can increase media exposure for your business, through local, regional and national media and through online links increasing search engine optimisation.
Using the award logo on your website and in your marketing will also encourage more customers to choose you. All finalists will be given the Visit York Tourism Awards logo to use on marketing materials.

Motivate your staff - Winning or entering an award really helps motivate your team, providing role models for good practice and helps create a winning culture.

Build your reputation - Winning an Award can help enhance the reputation of your business.