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News release

Finalists Announced for York’s Tourism Oscars
Putting the spotlight on York’s Tourism Superstars

Sixty three finalists are being revealed today for the annual Visit York Tourism Awards, billed as the Oscars of the city’s tourism sector. These prestigious awards will be staged on 22 June to shine a spotlight on excellence in tourism and reward outstanding service, innovation and quality. A five hundred strong audience from across York’s tourism sector is expected to attend the ceremony, to be held in the grand Station Hall of the National Railway Museum.

One hundred and thirty businesses from across the city, from hotels to restaurants, pubs to visitor attractions submitted their entries for the awards and a panel of independent judges will now decide on who will scoop an Oscar, through a mix of mystery shopping and rigorous analysis against the entry criteria.

Sally Greenaway, Head of Visit York, said, “The standard of entries has been higher than ever this year. Winning a Visit York Tourism Award enables businesses to stand out and the awards are also a brilliant marketing tool. Now the mystery shopper visits start and businesses will need to demonstrate exceptional levels of customer service to win. We wish everyone the very best of luck and are excited to reveal the winners on 22 June.”

The fifteen award categories for 2017 are B&B of 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 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 visitors and Visitor Experience of the Year. A new award has been introduced this year; the Visit York Outstanding Contribution award and the recipient will also be announced at the ceremony in June.

The prestigious Black Tie Awards ceremony will be compered by Ben and Ellie from Minster FM’s breakfast show and winners will have the opportunity to then go forward to the regional White Rose Awards and national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. Tickets for the Awards ceremony go on sale on Wednesday 12 April at 0900. The ticket price is £55 (ex VAT) for Visit York Members and £85 (ex VAT) for non-members. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday 12 April on the Visit York website

Visit York Tourism Awards 2017

B&B of the Year
Carr House Farm Bed and Breakfast
Lil's on the Waterfront
Bar Convent Guest House
Tower Guest House

Café or Tearoom of the Year
Countess of York at the National Railway Museum
El Piano
Balloon Tree Farmshop & Café
The Garden Room at the Principal York

Conference Venue of the Year
The Bar Convent (Conferencing)
National Centre for Early Music (NCEM)
The Principal York
York Science Park

Family Friendly Experience of the Year
The Bloody Tour of York
York Art Gallery
York Maze
Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland

Hotel of the Year
Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa
Hotel du Vin York
Hotel Indigo York
The Black Swan Hotel
The Principal York

Newcomer of the Year
Brew York Craft Brewery & Tap Room
Can You Escape? York
Joe's Kitchen
Staycity Paragon Street York
The Botanist York

Outstanding Customer Service
Alison Storey (York Racecourse)
Anna Bialockleb (The Whippet Inn Steak & Alehouse)
Damian Palmer-Bunting (Robin Hood Caravan & Camping Park)
Edward Kelly (Staycity Aparthotels)
Frank Caulfield (Dean Court Hotel)

Pub of the Year
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
Ambiente Tapas
Melton's Restaurant
The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub
The Raj
The Weathervane Restaurant, Helmsley
Whippet Inn Steak & Alehouse

Self-catering Venue of the Year
Forest Holidays
Robin Hood Caravan & Camping Park
The Old Brewery, York
York Stay Holidays

Shopping Experience of the Year
Bishy Road
Käthe Wohlfahrt, Mulberry Hall
Pandora's Box

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Over 50,000 Visitors)
Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum
Energi Trampoline Park York
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
York Dungeon
York Art Gallery

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Under 50,000 Visitors)
Go Ape Dalby
National Centre for Birds of Prey
The Bloody Tour of York
York Army Museum

Visitor Experience of the Year
BOBH - Day Trips from York
Eboracum Roman Festival
Hallowscream at York Maze
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland


For further information please contact:

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

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

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

2016 Visit York Tourism Award Winners were:

Bed & Breakfast of the Year – Sponsored by Little Hotelier
Winner – The Bloomsbury

Café/Tearoom of the Year (The People’s Choice Award) – Sponsored by Booker York
Winner - El Piano

Caravan Park of the Year – Sponsored by Lloyds Bank
Winner - Robin Hood Caravan Park

Conference Venue of the Year – Sponsored by Saville Audio Visual
Winner – The Principal York

Family Friendly Experience of the Year – Sponsored by P & O Ferries
Winner - York Maze

Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Streamline Taxi’s
Winner – The Principal York

Outstanding Customer Service Award – Sponsored by HIT Training
Winner - Stevie-Jo Todd, York Marriott Hotel

Pub/Bar of the Year – Sponsored by Webmart
Winner – Walmgate Ale House

Restaurant of the Year – Sponsored by Morrell Middleton
Winner – The Whippet Inn

Self-Catering Venue of the Year – Sponsored by Be Independent
Lendal Tower

Shopping Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Fulprint
Winner – Il Gusto

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Over 50,000 Visitors) – Sponsored by F.R. Fowler & Son
York Art Gallery

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Under 50,000 Visitors) – Sponsored by York North Yorkshire East Riding Enterprise Partnership
Winner – Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens

Visitor Experience of the Year – Sponsored by York Data Services
Winner - York Maze – HallowScream at York Maze

York Tourism Ambassador – Sponsored by Veeno, The Italian Wine Café
Flying Scotsman

Winning a Visit York Tourism Award

Why it’s good for business…

Your chance to be different - Winning or even being shortlisted for a Visit York Tourism Award offers the chance for tourism businesses to differentiate against competitors. This endorsement could be the difference between winning or losing business being pitchedfor.

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

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

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