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York’s Tourism Businesses Storm to Victory at Visit York Tourism Awards

Fourteen of York’s top tourism businesses celebrated victory last night (Thursday 8th May) after winners in Visit York’s annual Tourism Awards were announced at a black tie awards ceremony held in the grand Station Hall at the National Railway Museum. The York Tourism Awards celebrate individuals and companies who offer that extra special service and experience for York’s seven million visitors.

Now in their 17th year, these awards recognise excellence in the city’s tourism sector. The event was the biggest of its kind so far, attended by a record breaking five hundred tourism businesses, as well as Cllr Julie Gunnell, Right Honourable Lord Mayor of York who was accompanied by the Civic Party. Compered by Minster FM presenter Paul ‘Griffo’ Griffiths and sponsored by many of York and Yorkshire’s leading businesses, this year’s event was hailed as the best yet.

Speaking at the awards, Jane Lady Gibson, Chairman of Visit York said, ‘Last year was an exceptional year for tourism in York; we revealed record tourism results with visitor spend exceeding half a billion pounds for the very first time. To achieve this success York needs exceptional people and this is what these awards recognise and celebrate. We congratulate Sarah and all our deserving winners and finalists.’

This year’s honoured title of York Tourism Ambassador was awarded to Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions for The JORVIK Group, in this flagship attraction JORVIK Viking Centre’s 30th anniversary year.

Sarah has been with York Archaeological Trust for over 11 years, heading up the attractions arm of York Archaeological Trust. Growing the group from its one flagship attraction, JORVIK Viking Centre, into five attractions, Sarah has been instrumental in showcasing 2,000 years of York’s history for visitors and adding a new dimension to the city’s tourism offer over the past decade.

Castle Howard scooped Visitor Attraction of the Year (over 50,000 visitors) award and the newly redeveloped York MotorSports Village was named Visitor Attraction of the Year (under 50,000 visitors). Mallard75 at the National Railway Museum took the prize for Best Visitor Experience for its world first ‘Great Gathering’, marking 75 years since Mallard broke the steam speed record. The hotly contested Hotel of the Year title was awarded to Raithwaite Estate, a country retreat providing a coastal haven for visitors to York, whilst in the BnB sector Carlton House was presented with the award for York’s Best Guest House; the People’s Choice Award - as voted for by the public.

Shopping Experience of the Year was presented to Pandora York, Conference Venue of the Year to Novotel York, Self Catering of the Year to The Old Brewery, Caravan Park of the Year to Cawood Holiday Park, Outstanding Customer Service Award to Jade Kelly of Holiday Inn York, Restaurant of the Year to newcomer The Whippet Inn Steak and Ale House and Cafe/Tearoom of the Year to El Piano. The Three Tuns, one of York’s most historic pubs, which has traded continuously since 1782, scooped Pub/Bar of the Year.

Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Tourism said, ‘It’s so important to recognise and reward the hard work that goes into welcoming York’s seven million visitors each year. The care businesses take in providing first class products and services plays a pivotal role in ensuring the city’s tourism economy continues to go from strength to strength.’

To find out more about Visit York, go to


The 2014 Visit York Tourism Awards winners and finalists are as follows:

Visitor Attraction of the Year (under 50,000 visitors), sponsored by FR Fowler & Son

Winner: York MotorSports Village

Highly Commended: Goddards, National Trust


Quilt Museum & Gallery

York Cold War Bunker

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland

Visitor Attraction of the Year (over 50,000 visitors), sponsored by Leeds Bradford International Airport

Winner: Castle Howard

Highly Commended: York Maze


Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens

National Railway Museum

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

York Racecourse

Visitor Experience of the Year, sponsored by P&O Ferries

Winner: Mallard75 – National Railway Museum


Hallowscream – York Maze

JORVIK Viking Festival


York Cycle Tour – Scoot Cycling Holidays Ltd

Shopping Experience of the Year, sponsored by Cycle Heaven

Winner: Pandora York

Highly Commended: York’s CHOCOLATE Story


Monk Bar Model Shop

Now and Then Group

York Cocoa House

Conference Venue of the Year, sponsored by Saville Audio Visual

Winner: Novotel York


The Merchant Taylors Hall

National Railway Museum

York Conferences – University of York

York Racecourse

Hotel of the Year, sponsored by Streamline Taxis

Winner: Raithwaite Estate


Best Western York Pavilion Country House Hotel

Middlethorpe Hall & Spa

Novotel York

The Parsonage Hotel & Spa

Self Catering of the Year, sponsored by Partners Leisure

Winner: The Old Brewery


The Dovecote Barns

High Dalby House Cottages

The Old Gallery & Chamber Apartments

The Riverside – York

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges & Shepherd Hut

Caravan Park of the Year, sponsored by Webmart

Winner: Cawood Holliday Park


Naburn Lock Caravan Park

Robin Hood Caravan Park

Outstanding Customer Service Award, sponsored by Santander

Winner: Jade Kelly – Holiday Inn York


Greg Palmer, Best Western Monkbar Hotel

Marcus Naylor, The Golden Fleece

Sandra & David Wreglesworth, High Dalby House

Rebecca & Damian Palmer-Bunting, Robin Hood Caravan Park

Jeanette Hutchinson, York Marriott

Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Morrell Middleton

Winner: The Whippet Inn Steak and Ale House

Highly Commended: The Oak Room at Middlethorpe Hall & Spa


El Piano

Lascelles Restaurant at The Parsonage Hotel & Spa

The Raj

Cafe/Tearoom of the Year, sponsored by Deliciouslyorkshire

Winner: El Piano


Crumbs Cupcakery


York Cocoa House

Pub/Bar of the Year, sponsored by Minster FM

Winner: The Three Tuns


The Golden Fleece

Guy Fawkes Inn

House of the Trembling Madness

The Whippet Inn Steak and Ale House

Best B&B – The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by

Winner: Carlton House


The Bar Convent


Deighton Lodge

The Golden Fleece

York Tourism Ambassador, sponsored by Cosmo Restaurants

Awarded to: Sarah Maltby, The JORVIK Group of Attractions


For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of Communications – Visit York

Direct Line: 01904 554451

Mobile: 07506 048852

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Visit York

Direct Line: 01904 554436

Notes to the Editor

Sponsors for the Visit York Tourism Awards are:

FR Fowler & Son

Leeds Bradford International Airport

P&O Ferries

Saville Audio Visual

Streamline Taxis

Partners Leisure



Morrell Middleton


Minster FM

Cosmo Restaurant

Cycle Heaven

  • Visit York is supported by the City of York Council and over 700 tourism businesses and works in partnership with VisitEngland.
  • 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: million visitors annually, £606 million total visitor spend, supporting 20,000 jobs