The annual celebration of quality in the region’s tourism industry has been saved for 2012.
The North East England Tourism Awards were previously run by One North East so, with the demise of the regional development agency and in light of current economic challenges, there was a big question-mark hanging over the event this year.
But NewcastleGateshead Initiative has stepped in and is now planning it in partnership with Northumberland County Council (NCC), which has taken on responsibility for administering the judging of six categories, and event management company Evention.
The visitor economy supports more than 65,000 jobs across the North East and contributes an estimated £4.2billion to the local economy annually. To recognise the importance of the industry, the awards have taken place since 2003.
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “After speaking with local businesses, it quickly became apparent to us that the enthusiasm from the tourism industry locally for the North East England Tourism Awards meant that they simply must go ahead.”
Jeff Reid, leader of NCC, said: “The awards aim to promote and reward excellence in all areas of the industry. Tourism is a major contributor to the Northumberland economy and I am delighted that NCC is able to support the 2012 awards.”
Also supporting the awards is the Northern Tourism Alliance, a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies, which includes Northumberland Tourism.
Award winners will have the chance to compete against winners from other regions across the country at the Visit England Awards for Excellence.
Previous winner Jeff Sutheran, owner of St Cuthbert’s House, Seahouses, said: “The North East Tourism Awards are a fantastic opportunity for businesses to showcase their quality offerings and to celebrate the great results of the hard work they put into giving visitors a very special experience.
“Winning in 2010 was a fantastic achievement for us. It was certainly good for our business.”
To enter, visit www.NorthEastTourismAwards.com