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Entries open for North East England Tourism Awards 2015

11th June 2015

Categories: Convention Bureau News

Following the success of VisitEngland’s national Awards for Excellence held at Sage Gateshead last month, tourism bosses are calling on businesses to celebrate their own achievements and enter the North East England Tourism Awards 2015.

Speaking to businesses in the region at NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s partner update meeting, James Berresford, chief executive at VisitEngland, today said: “The spectacular Sage Gateshead provided the perfect setting to celebrate the finalists and winners of this year’s VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, and to recognise the standout product on offer across the country, including in the North East.

“The region has a tremendous amount to offer visitors and I am confident that domestic and international visitors arriving for the Rugby World Cup this autumn are in store for something special. As an industry we need to embrace the challenge of providing world-class experiences to visitors to keep up with our global competitors. The North East England Tourism Awards 2015 is an opportunity for businesses across the region to demonstrate the very best that’s on offer.”

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, commented: “The North East really held its own at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence last month. Sage Gateshead were fantastic hosts and seven of the region’s businesses were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the industry. The sector is an important part of the economy of North East England supporting 54,000 jobs and the regional awards provide a platform to remind everyone that the tourism industry is a key part of the continued success of the North East. I’d encourage all of the area’s tourism businesses to think about how they’ve excelled in the last year and enter the awards.”

Entries for this year’s North East England Tourism Awards open today (Thursday 11 June). They are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance and local authorities across the region. The gala Awards dinner will take place on Tuesday 24 November 2015 at Newcastle Civic Centre.

Councillor David Stockdale, Cabinet member for Communities and Facilities at Newcastle City Council, said: “We are proud to be hosting this year’s North East England Tourism Awards and welcoming to Newcastle Civic Centre industry representatives from all over the region. Newcastle is going from strength-to-strength as an international tourist destination with the city continuing to successfully host high profile events in calibre of the Great North Run and Rugby League’s Magic Weekend with the Rugby World Cup and the British Transplant Games still to come in 2015.
 
“The North East England Tourism Awards are a wonderful way to celebrate the region’s achievements and to recognise the hard work and dedication of the businesses and individuals working in the sector to deliver outstanding experiences for visitors.”

Sarah Stewart, added: “As St James’ Park gets ready to welcome 134,000 spectators during the Rugby World Cup 2015, and with 51,000 of them expected to travel from overseas, entering the North East England Tourism Awards 2015 is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to celebrate their own success and showcase what they have to offer to industry peers and potential visors.”

Winners at the North East England Tourism Awards 2015 will have the chance to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards. Earlier this year, seven North East businesses went on to see success nationally following the 2014 Awards, they were Matfen Hall (Large Hotel of the Year - gold), St Cuthbert’s House (Sustainable Tourism Award - silver), Event Durham (Business Tourism Award – silver), Kielder Winter Wonderland – Northumbrian Water Leaplish Waterside Park (Tourism Event of the year – silver), Durham Visitor Information Network (Visitor Information Provider of the Year – bronze),  Seafield Caravan Park (Holiday Park of the Year -bronze), and The Cycle Hub (Tourism Experience 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 deadline for entries is Friday 04 September 2015.

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 Awards are also supported by Northumberland County Council, South Tyneside Council, North Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council.

Ends.


Supporting Quotes

Among the businesses that saw success nationally, Matfen Hall won gold in the Large Hotel of the Year category, speaking about the experience, Bernard Bloodworth, Managing Director said: “We were absolutely delighted to receive regional, as well as national recognition from VisitEngland for all the hard work and dedication that the entire team at Matfen Hall has invested into the business. We have always tried to take a long term view with everything we do within the business and also looked to engage with local businesses and suppliers to support our cause. We have worked hard and invested heavily to minimise the carbon footprint and ensure we have an ecologically sound business for the future.  This is very important both to us, the team but also to our customers and guests.”

North East England Tourism Awards 2015 – Categories

• Access for All
• Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year
• Business Tourism Award
• Caravan Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year
• Large Hotel of the Year
• Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
• Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
• Small Hotel of the Year
• Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
• Sustainable Tourism Award
• Taste of England Award
• Tourism Experience of the Year
• Tourism Pub of the Year
• Visitor Information provider of the Year
• Tourism Event of the Year  

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

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