Shortlist for regional tourism awards revealed

Representatives from Seafield Caravan Park and St Cuthbert's House at the VisitEngland awards earlier this year.
Representatives from Seafield Caravan Park and St Cuthbert's House at the VisitEngland awards earlier this year.

Businesses from across north Northumberland are preparing for the region’s tourism Oscars next month as the shortlist for the North East England Tourism Awards 2014 is announced today.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which delivers the awards on behalf of the Northern Tourism Alliance, said: “This year we have seen a fantastic range of applications spanning the whole of North-East England, from Berwick in the north to Guisborough in the south.”

The tourism industry is an important part of the economy of the North East, employing more than 55,000 people with an additional 500 jobs created over the last 12 months.

Sarah added: “The North East England Tourism Awards are an important platform, recognising the quality and innovation that ensures our tourism offer remains one of the strongest in the country, congratulations to all those shortlisted and good luck.”

This year, 85 applications were submitted with 52 making the shortlist, testament to the quality of experiences and services submitted from businesses working in all areas of the visitor economy.

Judges have spent time visiting all of the shortlisted businesses to determine who should take the top honour of gold in 15 categories. Silver, bronze and highly commended accolades will also be announced at a celebration of the tourism industry’s success regionally on Tuesday, November 11, at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

Winners at the regional awards will also have the opportunity to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards 2015. Earlier this year, seven North East businesses went on to see success nationally following the regional Awards 2013, including St Cuthbert’s House in Seahouses (Bed & Breakfast of the Year) and Seafield Caravan Park, also Seahouses, (Caravan Holiday Park of the Year), both winning gold at the prestigious national awards.

Seafield is back to defend its regional title next month, alongside Golden Sands Holiday Park, in Cresswell, and Leaplish Waterside Park, at Kielder. Meanwhile, St Cuthbert’s is competing in the Sustainable Tourism category.

Kielder could go home with a handful of gongs as the Calvert Trust is shortlisted in Self-Catering Provider of the Year and the Access for All Tourism Award, its Winter Wonderland is up for Tourism Event of the Year and Kielder Observatory is in the running for Small Visitor Attraction of the Year Award.

It’s almost a clean sweep in north Northumberland in the Self-Catering Provider of the Year as the Calvert Trust is joined by Rennington Cottages and Springhill Farm, Seahouses, while Doxford Hall Hotel and Spa is in the Small Hotel of the Year category.