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Applications open for prestigious North East England Tourism Awards

Tourism businesses across the North East are being encouraged to enter the North East England Tourism Awards as applications open today (Wednesday 11 August) across 15 categories.

The North East England Tourism Awards celebrate quality, innovation and best practice throughout the region, showcasing the fantastic range of high quality experiences on offer for visitors in the North East.

As the hospitality and tourism sector reopens, bringing vibrancy back to our region’s towns and cities, a new award category has been launched to reflect the innovative spirit seen by many businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic; the Resilience and Innovation Award recognises businesses that have demonstrated innovation, resilience and adaptation, along with support for their local communities, during the pandemic.

Another new category has also been added to recognise individuals that excel in their roles in the tourism sector; the Unsung Hero Award will applaud them for their work and commitment to the industry.

The awards, which are sponsored by Newcastle College and Bidfood, will see applications judged by a panel of industry experts, with a focus on experiencing the North East tourism industry first-hand.

Sarah Green, chief executive of destination and investment organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which leads on the delivery of the event, said: “We’re really excited to be launching The North East England Tourism Awards, which gives us a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic tourism businesses across our region.

“In recognition of the wonderful innovation and resilience that we’ve seen by so many North East businesses over the past year, we welcome the introduction of the new Resilience and Innovation Award that is targeted to businesses who have demonstrated this exceptionally well.

“We strongly encourage all tourism businesses in the North East – accommodation providers, pubs, restaurants and attractions – to submit their free entry for the awards and help us to showcase the best of the North East.”

Anna Wadcock, general manager of Maldron Hotel Newcastle which scooped the Gold Award for New Tourism Business at the 2020 Awards, said of the win:

“Winning the Gold Award for New Tourism business after what was only our first year of trading was quite simply amazing.

“As we are the first Maldron Hotel to open in the mainland UK, it was great to receive recognition for the hard work the whole onsite team had put in to build the business up so well in its opening year.

“It highlighted awareness in our new brand and it increased our reach across the North East showing a whole new audience that not only are we committed to being a great hospitality venue but also as a business that genuinely wants to play a part in the wider community.”

Andy Hook, owner of Dobson & Parnell, which won the Gold Award for Taste of North East England, said: “Winning award was like a dream come true for us. Being given an accolade by local people from the region means as much to us, if not more, than all the national awards we’ve won over the years.

“Not only is it great to have recognition showing we’re doing something right but has also been a real morale booster for the team who have worked tirelessly over the past few years to ensure the restaurant’s survival and success. The award will also give us something to shout about in all of our promotion so it will undoubtedly be good for business, bringing new people into the restaurant”.

Applications for the North East England Tourism Awards will close at 12pm on Thursday 23 September 2021 with the award winners being announced in March 2022. Eligible winners of certain categories will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022.

More information can be found at www.NorthEastTourismAwards.com.

The Awards are delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative supported by the North East Tourism Alliance – 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, Visit Northumberland, Visit County Durham, and The North East Hotels Association. The North East England Tourism Awards are also supported by South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council.

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