VisitEngland announces Awards for Excellence winners

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VisitEngland has celebrated the best of English tourism, announcing the winners of its Awards for Excellence for 2017. 

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe
VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe

The awards, now in their 28th year, celebrate those businesses and individuals who continuously raise the bar of England’s tourism offer.

The 25 award winners, from Afternoon Tea of the Year to Sustainable Tourism Award, Tourism Pub of the Year to Business Tourism Award, span the length and breadth of the country from Yorkshire to Devon, Warwickshire to Northumberland.

The awards ceremony, hosted by Sue Perkins, took place at the Hilton Waldorf in London and welcomed 67 finalists selected from almost 600 applications, the highest number ever received.

In addition to the winners in each of the 22 categories there were special awards: Outstanding Contribution to Tourism awarded to the Premier League and Tourism Superstar awarded to Duane Dibartolomeo, after a public vote.

The Premier League was singled out for the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award due to English football’s draw for domestic and international visitors. More than 800,000 overseas visitors attended a football match during their trip to Britain in 2014, spending £684 million.

The Tourism Superstar 2017 competition, run jointly with the Daily Mirror, was won by Duane, owner of the Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich. Nigel Thompson, the Daily Mirror’s Travel Editor presented the accolade.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “This year’s awards were fiercely contested and we had some terrific applications, showcasing not only the excellence on offer within English tourism but also the outstanding innovation and the sheer diversity of experiences throughout the country.

“From afternoon tea in a railway carriage to ‘Alice in Wonderland’ boutique hotel rooms, from great family friendly animal attractions to cottages for one, all well deserved the recognition of their quality and service.”

2017 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence winners
1. Glamping Provider of the Year
The Dandelion Hideaway, East Midlands

  1. Self-Catering Property of the Year
    Cottage in the Dales – The Byre, Yorkshire 
  2. Sustainable Tourism Award.
    Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant, North East 
  3. Guided Tour of the Year.
    Shiverpool, North West
  4. Afternoon Tea of the Year.
    Countess of York, Yorkshire Business Tourism Award.
    Warwick Conferences, West Midlands
  5. Family Friendly Accommodation of the Year award – sponsored by Family Traveller.
    Bosinver Farm Cottages, South West
  6. Family Friendly Food & Drink Business of the Year – sponsored by Family Traveller.
    Chester Zoo, North
  7. Family Friendly Attraction of the Year – sponsored by Family Traveller.
    Thames Rockets,
  8. Bed & Breakfast of the Year Award.
    St Cuthbert’s House, North East
  9. Tourism Superstar.
    Duane Dibartolomeo, Owner, Grosvenor Fish Bar, Norwich @Norwichchippy VisitNorwich or
  10. Boutique/Guest Accommodation of the Year award.
    Glazebrook House Hotel, South West
  11. Visitor Information Provider of the Year.
    Gloucester Tourist Information Centre, South West
  12. GREAT China Welcome of the Year – sponsored by Ping Pong Digital and Destination Britain.
    Blenheim Palace, South East
  13. Tourism Pub of the Year.
    The Anchor Inn, South West
  14. Small Visitor Attraction of the Year.
    Monkey Haven, South East
  15. Dog Friendly Business of the Year.
    Letheringham Water Mill Holiday Cottages, East of England
  16. Taste of England Award.
    The Art School, North West
  17. Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year.
    Trethem Mill Touring Park, South West
  18. Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year.
    Blakelow Farm Holiday Cottages, East Midlands
  19. Inclusive Tourism Award – sponsored by Barclays.
    Eden Project, South West 
  20. Large Visitor Attraction of the Year.
    Waddesdon Manor, South East
  21. Hotel of the Year.
    Northcote, North West 
  22. The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award.
    The Premier League
  23. Services to Tourism Award.
    Viscountess, Penelope Cobham CBE
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