Winners of the North East Tourism Awards announced

Businesses across the North East were revealed as winners of this year’s North East Tourism Awards at a virtual event today (Thursday 23 April 2020). The quality and diversity of the tourism industry were celebrated as the region comes together to support the industry in these challenging times.

During the online event, judges for each category outlined the strengths of the winning applications. At a difficult time for the industry, businesses from across the region were celebrated for their amazing contribution to the North East tourism offer.  

Sage Gateshead and Falconry Days were both double winners, with Maldron Hotel Newcastle taking home the New Tourism Business Award – one of three new categories introduced for the 2020 awards alongside Experience of the Year and the International Tourism Award. 

The full list of Gold winners: 

·         Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award – Sage Gateshead

·         B&B and Guest House of the Year – St Cuthbert’s House

·         Business Events Venue of the Year – Sage Gateshead

·         Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year – Seafield Caravan Park

·         Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award – South Tynedale Railway

·         Experience of the Year – CBK’s Adventure Co.

·         Large Hotel of the Year – Matfen Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa

·         Small Hotel of the Year – Seaham Hall

·         International Tourism Award – Falconry Days

·         New Tourism Business Award – Maldron Hotel Newcastle

·         Pub of the Year – The Apple Inn

·         Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year – St Oswald’s Farm

·         Taste of North East England Award – Dobson and Parnell

·         Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

·         Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Falconry Days

Sarah Green, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, who organise the awards, said: “A huge congratulations to this year’s winners and all those who continue to contribute so much to the North East tourism sector. Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on the sector but these awards demonstrate the quality of the North East Tourism offer and gives us confidence that once the current situation eases the region will be in a strong place to benefit from a predicted upturn in domestic and day tourism.

“Along with our colleagues in tourism organisations across the North East, we will continue to invest in marketing, with a strong digital and media presence, to ensure that tourists are aware of our fantastic region and have us front of mind when planning for future visits.”

The North East England Tourism Awards were once again sponsored by Newcastle College and Bidfood.

The format of the awards was tweaked this year so that they now align more closely with the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and reflect innovations across the industry. Eligible winners of the North East England Tourism Awards will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020.

Each of the shortlisted businesses went through a thorough judging process, focused on experiencing their offer first-hand. As well as being evaluated by a judging panel made up of industry experts, planned visits by judges or ‘mystery shoppers’ helped to inform the final decisions.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative has worked alongside Northern Tourism Alliance members and other partners to deliver the awards in 2020. 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 North East England Tourism Awards are supported by Northumberland Tourism, Northumberland County Council, Visit County Durham, South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council.