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Deadline looms for tourism businesses to enter regional awards

20th August 2014

Categories: Latest News

With just two-weeks to go (on Friday 22 August) until entries to the North East England Tourism Awards 2014 close, tourism bosses are urging businesses to celebrate their success and help showcase the best of what the region has to offer.

The call comes a fortnight after businesses and individuals from across the North East took to social media to help the region win £1m worth of advertising at Heathrow Airport as part of VisitBritain’s ‘Great’ Campaign, securing more than 20,000 votes for the North East.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, who deliver the Awards said: “The passion and pride for the North East demonstrated during the course of the Heathrow Airport competition was overwhelming.

“I’d urge visitor facing businesses and organisations to channel that same pride for their own achievements and enter the North East England Tourism Awards. The Awards are a fantastic way to not only celebrate success, but provide another opportunity to showcase the best of what’s on offer in the region, with winners having the chance to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards.”

Seven North East businesses went on to see success nationally following the 2013 Awards, including St Cuthbert’s House (Bed & Breakfast of the Year) and Seafield Caravan Park (Caravan Holiday Park of the Year), both in Seahouses winning Gold at the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2014.

Jeff Sutheran, who owns and runs St Cuthbert’s House with his wife Jill, said: “We see the North East England Tourism Awards as a really valuable way to measure ourselves against the very best businesses in the whole region.
“The opportunities that winning the Award bring, to tell our own ‘good news story’, are not to be underestimated.  The Awards process is a key tool for reviewing and measuring our own performance at the highest level, and for raising the profile of our business.”

This year’s awards, which are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative on behalf of the Northern Tourism Alliance, will take place on 11 November 2014 at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, and are sponsored by the University of Sunderland and Northumbrian Water. BBC Look North’s Carol Malia will host the Awards.

David Hall, Head of Leisure, Strategy and Transformation at Northumbrian Water, said: “Northumbrian Water is delighted to sponsor the North East England Tourism Awards for the second year running.

“As the lead partner in the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, tourism is hugely important to us. We’re proud that Leaplish Waterside Park won gold in the holiday village category in 2013, and likewise to have won Best Tourism Experience at both the North East England Tourism Awards 2012 and the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in 2013.

“The North East England Tourism Awards are a fantastic opportunity for businesses to showcase their product and provide a focus for improvement in quality for visitors to the North East.”

The tourism industry is an important part of the economy of North East England supporting 54,000 jobs. Entries to the North East England Tourism Awards close on Friday 05 September, more information can be found at, where applications can be downloaded, alternatively the awards team can be contacted via

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. Members include NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism (representing Northumberland County Council), Visit County Durham, The North East Hotels Association and local authorities South Tyneside Council, North Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council.

North East England Tourism Awards 2014 – Categories

• Access for All - (sponsored by University of Sunderland as joint Event Sponsor)
• Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year
• Business Tourism Award  - (sponsored by NECC)
• Caravan Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year - (sponsored by Northumbrian Water as joint Event Sponsor)
• Large Hotel of the Year - (sponsored by Hi-Lights)
• Large Visitor Attraction of the Year  - (sponsored by North East Hotels Association)
• Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year - (sponsored by Northumberland Tourism)
• Small Hotel of the Year - (sponsored by Crowne Plaza)
• Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
• Sustainable Tourism Award - (sponsored by Banks Group)
• Taste of England Award - (sponsored by Visit County Durham)
• Tourism Experience of the Year - (sponsored by South Tyneside Council) 
• Tourism Pub of the Year
• Visitor Information provider of the Year - (presented by Lady Penelope Cobham, Chair of VisitEngland)
• Tourism Event of the Year - (sponsored by Sunderland City Council) 


For media enquiries contact:
Shelley Armstrong
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5739
M. +44 (0)7717 631 109

Notes to editors:
• Northern Tourism Alliance: Working in collaboration NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism (representing Northumberland County Council), Visit County Durham, North East Hoteliers Association and local authorities including South Tyneside Council, North Tyneside Council and Sunderland Council forged a new tourism alliance in 2011.

The Northern Tourism Alliance seeks to develop new ways of working with local and national partners to continue the successful growth of the regional visitor economy in North East England. The Alliance is an ongoing partnership between several tourism organisations in the region which have indentified the mutual benefits of collaboration and co-ordination.

• 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

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