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The awards, sponsored by LNER, aim to shine a spotlight on excellence in York’s tourism sector and reward quality, innovation and customer service. Across many categories the winners will also go forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

Award Categories 2022

This year, there are 15 awards categories for businesses to enter, with 13 of these categories eligible for the winner to be put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022. There is definitely something for everyone and businesses can enter more than one category – please check the criteria carefully before entering.

Check the criteria for each category 

Click here to enter the awards ►

Deadline for entries is 5pm, Friday 29 October 2021

Please note: there is a £150 charge to enter the awards if you are not a Visit York member.


The Visit York Tourism Awards are judged by an independent panel of judges.

For all Awards the first stage is ‘desk judging’ – which is an evaluation of the online applications using a centralised scoring matrix. A shortlist of entrants is then selected from the application who will be our ‘Finalists for 2022’

Our judges look for evidence of excellence and best practice in all areas of the business operation. A strict word limit is set for each section/question and the online system will cut off at the maximum word count.

The finalists are then taking through a second round of judging which will be conducted through a ‘Mystery Shop’* and subsequent report. The judging panel will then meet to make a final decision utilising all the submitted and gathered evidence for the winners.

Mystery Shopping

This year we will continue to work with our Visit York member and local Regional Director, Ian Sadler from Insight6 to carry out the valuable mystery shopping for the awards.

Insight6 is one of the UK's leading Customer Intelligence organisations in the UK who work within the tourism sector and carry out thousands of high quality mystery shops every month.

As part of the process applicants of all categories will have the opportunity to meet with Ian and after the awards ceremony will be offered a review meeting to go through the completed report on your business.

*Only one category this year will not be mystery shopped – Event of the Year. The second round of judging for this category will comprise of a face to face interview.

Please note: Shortlisted businesses must agree to waive all costs associated with the mystery shopper process.

All applicants for the 2022 Awards, including those who do not reach the shortlist stage, will receive feedback on their application via the Openwater system.

Terms and Conditions