The search is officially on to find the shining stars of Cumbria’s £2.72 billion tourism industry, as entries open for the 2018 Cumbria Tourism Awards – including a brand-new category introduced in honour of the county’s new double World Heritage Status.
The annual Cumbria Tourism Awards continue to grow year-on-year, celebrating the talents, achievements and sheer diversity of an industry which supports around 63,000 jobs across the county. This year, there are a record 18 awards to enter, including the new accolade for ‘Culture & Heritage Experience’.
Businesses have until Monday 5 March to enter this year’s Cumbria Tourism Awards. With categories spanning all aspects of the visitor economy, potential entrants range from small guesthouses, restaurants and self-catering units, to larger hotels, visitor attractions and wedding venues to name just a few.
The finalists will be chosen by an independent panel of tourism experts later this Spring, with the main awards ceremony taking place this summer alongside hundreds of tourism businesses and professionals. Some of the ultimate winners will then have the chance to put their name forward at national level for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Our tourism businesses offer the highest quality to visitors, and the Cumbria Tourism Awards are a fantastic way for businesses to showcase the quality of what they do to the wider world.
“To win, or be shortlisted for an award, is a fantastic way to demonstrate how tourism operators are investing not only in their products and services, but also in their staff and ultimately their customers. The whole process of entering the awards can also help to gather invaluable feedback and insights into a business and how it can grow, develop and innovate for the future.”
Last year’s winners agree…
Fiona Lappin is Co-owner of The Malabar, which was the winner of ‘B&B of the Year’ 2017. She says, “We hoped the Cumbria Tourism Awards would give us some great exposure and it really paid off. We were delighted to have been shortlisted and thrilled to have won, not only for us but for Sedbergh and the surrounding area. It has definitely helped to put us on the map and of course given us the chance to enter the VisitEngland awards where we will be very proud to represent Cumbria later this year.”
Helen Griffiths, of Hart Barn near Ullswater, was winner of ‘Self-Catering Property of the Year’ 2017. She adds, “We were absolutely thrilled to win the award and even more overwhelmed by the response from our guests; the warmth of support encourages us to continue to improve and delight our visitors. To be recognised by Cumbria Tourism and the industry ahead of all the other properties in the county was a real honour.”
Cumbria Tourism members are eligible to enter any of the main 18 categories. A 19th award, the Bernard Gooch Award, will be selected by Cumbria Tourism’s Executive Board and members to recognise an outstanding personal contribution to Cumbria’s visitor economy.