North East tourism businesses aim to get their paws on an award as applications open

Harvey the dog

09 June 2016

Today (9 June 2016) tourism bosses have launched the 2016 North East England Tourism Awards, calling on businesses across the region to enter and celebrate their achievements and success.

This year sees three new categories; ‘Guided Tour of the Year’, ‘Self Catering Property of the Year’ and a new ‘Dog Friendly Business’ category which is included to celebrate tourism businesses which go the extra mile to ensure that both visitors and their pooches have an unforgettable experience.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “The past year has been both busy and exciting for the tourism sector. A year packed with sporting highlights in the North East has included Rugby World Cup 2015, Magic Weekend (in 2015 and 2016), the Westfield Health British Transplant Games, the Tour of Britain and the annual Great North Run – all attracting day and overnight visitors to the North East.

“The tourism sector is an important part of the local economy, supporting over 55,000 jobs. The awards provide a great platform to celebrate the success of tourism businesses across the region whilst reinforcing the importance of the industry in the North East.

“I would like to encourage all visitor economy businesses, from hotels and pubs to attractions and eateries, to consider entering this year’s awards – applications are now open.”

The North East England Tourism Awards, which are free to enter, are organised and delivered by destination marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance and local authorities across the region. Entries close at 4pm on Friday 9 September and the awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday 22 November 2016 at Newcastle Civic Centre.

Northumbrian Water has announced they will be supporting the awards for the fourth consecutive year, joined by Gateshead College as headlines sponsors for 2016.

David Hall, head of leisure, strategy and transformation at Northumbrian Water, said: “We are delighted to yet again be supporting the awards and are proud to aid in shining a light on and celebrating the success of the hard working tourism industry. The new ‘Dog Friendly Business’ category comes as exciting news as we are currently redeveloping our dog friendly offering at our very own Leaplish Waterside Park.”

Judith Doyle, principal and chief executive at Gateshead College, said: “The North East Tourism Awards is a fantastic celebration of all the amazing experiences that our region has to offer and they would not be able to do so if they did not have talented, enthusiastic employees. At Gateshead College we are working with many of our local tourism businesses to ensure they have the skilled workforce they need to thrive and ultimately boost economic growth for the North East. We are delighted to support the awards especially because it will also create opportunities for our students to gain some inspirational work experience and inspire them to pursue their future careers here in the region.”

Winners at the North East England Tourism Awards 2016 will have the chance to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards. Earlier this year, six North East businesses went on to see success nationally following the 2015 Awards – they were Rockliffe Hall (Large Hotel of the Year - gold), St Cuthbert’s House (Sustainable Tourism Award – bronze and Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year – highly commended), Beamish, The Living Museum of the North (Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – bronze), Martineau Guest House (Taste of England Award – highly commended), Seaham Hall (Business Tourism Award – highly commended), Magna Carta & the changing Face of Revolt, Durham University (Tourism Event of the Year - highly commended).

More information on the North East England Tourism Awards can be found at www.NorthEastTourismAwards.com, where applications are available to download.

The Northern Tourism Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the region. The founding members of the alliance are NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism, Visit County Durham, and The North East Hotels Association. The North East England Tourism Awards are also supported by Northumberland County Council, South Tyneside Council, North Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council.

Supporting Quotes

Eamonn Elliott, Chief Executive at Rockliffe Hall, said: The North East England Tourism Awards are incredibly important because they help raise the profile of the North East as a fabulous destination and also recognise the hard work and dedication of the tourism industry that’s taking place every day – they are the awards every business in our industry and our region want to win.

“Winning Large Hotel of the Year was a fabulous achievement for everyone at Rockliffe Hall and enabled us to go on to win the VisitEngland Large Hotel of the Year Award. We look forward to the upcoming awards and hope for another successful year.”

North East England Tourism Awards 2016 – Categories

• Hotel of the Year
• Boutique Accommodation/Small Hotel of the Year
• B&B/Guest House of the Year
• Self Catering Property of the Year
• Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
• Holiday Park of the Year
• Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
• Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
• Guided Tour of the Year
• Dog Friendly Business of the Year
• Tourism Pub of the Year
• Taste
• Sustainable Tourism
• Inclusive Tourism
• Business Tourism

For media enquiries contact:
Becky Beaumont
Media & PR Executive
T. +44 (0)191 440 5728
M. +44 (0)773 075 0101
E. becky.beaumont@ngi.org.uk

Notes to editors:
• NewcastleGateshead Initiative is a destination management and marketing agency; a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils, working with around 170 private sector partner organisations across NewcastleGateshead and the wider region
• NewcastleGateshead Initiative is supported by a board offering expertise from a range of sectors and professions. We also work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and businesses, who share our ambition to inspire people to visit and to live, learn, work and invest in NewcastleGateshead.
o Our marketing & communications team works to promote and position NewcastleGateshead as a vibrant tourism destination, through targeted campaigns nationally and internationally. Our visitor information team helps ensure visitors have the best possible experience when they’re here, providing information and support.
o Our cultural programming team work with partners across the destination to bring together NewcastleGateshead’s cultural offer and deliver some of our most popular festival & events, including EAT! NewcastleGateshead, Juice Festival and the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival.
o Our Convention Bureau uses local knowledge and expertise to help organise conferences, meetings or events in NewcastleGateshead and the surrounding area. It provides a free service including, venue sourcing and accommodation booking, to arranging transport and entertainment for delegates
o Our inward investment team helps businesses locate, expand and flourish in NewcastleGateshead, providing a range of services to make it easy to realise their ambitions for growth

• United by seven bridges across a spectacular riverscape, Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank) form a single, diverse and extremely vibrant visitor destination. World-class culture, vibrant nightlife, award-winning dining, inspiring heritage, fantastic shopping and acclaimed architecture are combined here like nowhere else, by the famous Geordie spirit which is symbolised by Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North as it welcomes travellers to the area.

Imagery / Photography opportunities:
www.NewcastleGateshead.com/Images - NewcastleGateshead’s Initiative’s extensive royalty free image library

Useful links:
www.NewcastleGateshead.com/Media - NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s media website
www.NewcastleGateshead.com - destination website for NewcastleGateshead

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