Businesses across the region are celebrating after the North East England Tourism Awards shortlist was announced today, following another impressive year for entries.

The awards play a key role in showcasing the range of high quality tourism businesses and experiences on offer to visitors across the North East.

All shortlisted applicants will also have the chance to enter the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2018. Last year, the North East was well represented with five businesses picking up national awards. Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant and St Cuthbert’s House both came away with gold, whilst Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa, The Tankerville Arms, and Beamish, the Living Museum of the North, were all finalists.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We’ve had another brilliant year for entries and it’s great to see so many new businesses enter the awards, as well as those applying again. The North East England Tourism Awards celebrate the success of our thriving tourism sector and the importance of the industry in the region.

“The tourism sector continues to thrive in the North East of England and we’re looking forward to celebrating the awards at the ceremony in November. It’s a credit to the region that five of our businesses went on to win at the VisitEngland Awards last year and we’re hopeful of further success this year.”

53 applications made this year’s shortlist from a wide range of tourism businesses across County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.

Northumbrian Water is supporting the awards for the sixth consecutive year, joined by Newcastle College and Bidfood as event sponsors for 2017.

David Hall, head of leisure, strategy and transformation at Northumbrian Water, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the awards for the sixth year in a row, they showcase the very best the North East has to offer those visiting, living and working in the region. From spectacular coastlines, vibrant city cultures and fantastic heritage sites to our own breathtaking Kielder Waterside there is something for everyone. Tourism is a vital part of our economy and we are looking forward to celebrating its success.”

Tony Lewin, principal at Newcastle College, said: “Newcastle College plays a key role in the regional tourism industry with many of our students going on to work in the sector. Our fantastic partnerships within the region have also enabled our students to experience working at some of the best hotels, restaurants and resorts that the North East has to offer. We’re also very proud to have a number of our talented students working with NewcastleGateshead Initiative to help make the event a success – from helping with the marketing through to supporting on the night.”

Susan Justice, head of business development, at Bidfood said: “The North East has a wide variety of brilliant tourism and hospitality businesses and it’s great to be able to recognise this at the North East England Tourism Awards. We are thrilled to be involved and can’t wait to celebrate those organisations that really go the extra mile for those visiting the region.”

Winners will be announced at a glittering celebration on Thursday 16 November 2017 at The Boiler Shop in partnership with Crowne Plaza Newcastle in the Stephenson Quarter. Hosted by BBC Radio Newcastle breakfast show presenter, Alfie Joey, tickets to attend the awards are priced at £65 and are available now at www.newcastlegateshead.com/tourism-awards/buy-tickets.

The North East England Tourism Awards are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance.

The Northern Tourism Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the region. The members of the alliance are NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism, Visit County Durham, The North East Hotels Association, South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council.

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