Who will be the tourism trailblazers leading the way in the new decade? World-class businesses from across Cumbria’s £3billion tourism industry are being urged to showcase their stand-out success stories, with the launch of the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2020.
The search is now on to find out who’s setting the standard in a world-renowned visitor economy which supports 63,000 jobs across the county. With a reputation as the ‘Oscars’ of the tourism sector, the Cumbria Tourism Awards give businesses the chance to highlight the achievements, talents and sheer diversity which make Cumbria’s visitor offer so hard to beat.
Tourism-related businesses have five weeks from today until 5pm on Monday 17 February to enter one or more of the 16 categories and share their successes from the last 12 months. A wide range of tourism-related businesses are being encouraged to throw their hats in the ring, ranging from restaurants, guesthouses and B&Bs to self-catering accommodation, hotels, retailers and visitor attractions/experiences.
The finalists will be chosen by an independent panel of tourism experts and will have the chance to walk the red carpet at a VIP awards ceremony, taking place at Cartmel Racecourse on Wednesday 15 July. Eligible winners of certain categories will automatically feed up to the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2021, for the chance to gain national recognition.
One of the stand-out accolades on the night will be the Shelia Hensman Award for an ‘unsung hero’, where businesses have the chance to recognise the hard work and dedication of a talented individual who goes the extra mile to create a world-class visitor experience.
The full list of categories for the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2020 includes:
- Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award
- Large Hotel of the Year sponsored by Christie & Co
- Small Hotel of the Year sponsored by Colliers International
- B&B and Guest House of the Year sponsored by Lamont Pridmore
- Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year sponsored by Out of Eden
- Camping, Glamping & Holiday Park of the Year sponsored by NatWest Commercial Banking
- Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
- Large Visitor Attraction of the Year sponsored by H&H Reeds Printworks
- Pub of the Year
- Taste of Cumbria Award sponsored by The Cumberland
- Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award
- Experience of the Year sponsored by Carlisle and Lake District Airport
- Makers and Producers Award
- Wedding Venue of the Year
- New Tourism Business Award sponsored by Thomson Hayton Winkley
- The Sheila Hensman Unsung Hero Award
The judges will be looking for tourism businesses that demonstrate excellence and innovation across their products and services including: the visitor welcome, marketing, quality and sustainable / environmental practices. Winning an award brings substantial benefits including raising a company’s profile, increasing customer confidence and potentially generating additional business.
One of the 2019 winners was Castlerigg Hall Caravan, Camping and Glamping Park at Keswick. Owner David Jackson, said: “We were thrilled to win a Cumbria Tourism award, which we believe is a fabulous showcase for the tourism sector in our amazing county. Applying for the award gave us that additional motivation to keep us looking to improve on the service and product we offer, whilst recognising the hard work and dedication of our team here at Castlerigg Hall’.
Meanwhile, The Regent Hotel in Ambleside won Small Hotel of the Year 2019.
Owner Andrew Hewitt commented; “We’ve been here at Waterhead Bay for almost 40 years, and in that time we’ve witnessed so much growth and development in the tourism sector of the Cumbrian economy. The Cumbria Tourism Awards celebrate the best that our county has to offer and give us all a platform to showcase what we do best, so to be involved in something so prestigious was very exciting!”
Full details about how to enter and the application forms, entry criteria and terms and conditions can be found at www.cumbriatourism.org/awards. Businesses do not need to be a member of Cumbria Tourism to apply.
Cumbria Tourism is grateful to its sponsors for making the competition possible again this year. They include: headline sponsor United Utilities alongside Carlisle Lake District Airport, Cartmel Racecourse, Christie & Co, Colliers International, The Cumberland, EWGA Wines, H&H Reeds Printworks, Lamont Pridmore, Lawson Design, Out of Eden, NatWest Commercial Banking, Shortridge and Thomson Hayton Winkley.