Entries now open for 2016 regional tourism awards

Harvey the dog launching the new dog-friendly category in North East Tourism Awards at Leaplish Waterside Park near Kielder. Picture by Craig Connor/NNP
Harvey the dog launching the new dog-friendly category in North East Tourism Awards at Leaplish Waterside Park near Kielder. Picture by Craig Connor/NNP

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.

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 more than 55,000 jobs.

“The awards provide a great platform to celebrate the success of tourism businesses across the region while 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, September 9, and the awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, November 22, at Newcastle Civic Centre.

Winners at the 2016 awards will have the chance to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards, as St Cuthbert’s House, in Seahouses, did in 2015 along with five other North-East businesses.

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 they are delighted to be supporting the awards and the tourims sector again, adding: “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.”