Countdown to North East Tourism Awards 2014 almost over

Glitzy award ceremony at the Stadium of Light will see the region's top tourism businesses crowned

A view of Kielder Forest in Northumberland National Park
A view of Kielder Forest in Northumberland National Park

Businesses have just hours left before they find out if they will win the North East Tourism Awards 2014.

The annual showcase of the best the region offers visitors will, on Tuesday night, see 52 firms go head to head at a glitzy ceremony at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

“This year we received 85 applications spanning the whole of North East England, from Berwick in the north to Guisborough in the south,” said Sarah Stewart, chief executive of the NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which organises the North East England Tourism Awards on behalf of the Northern Tourism Alliance.

“Fifty two businesses have made the shortlist, which is testament to the quality of experiences and services provided by businesses working in all areas of the visitor economy. “The Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate the quality and innovation that ensures our tourism offer remains one of the strongest in the country.

NGI chief executive Sarah Stewart
NGI chief executive Sarah Stewart

“Congratulations to all those shortlisted and good luck – I very much look forward to seeing them all at the Stadium of Light.”

It has been a great year for tourism in the North East, with the latest figures showing that the number of overseas visitors to the region in 2014 is at its highest since 2008 - up 25% in the first six months of the year alone.

That in turn is helping to support 55,000 jobs, with an extra 500 posts created over the last 12 months, with the visitors contributing an estimated £3.6bn to the North East economy, NGI said.

To pick this years winners, judges spent time visiting all of the shortlisted businesses to determine who should take the top “gold” honour in each of the event’s 15 categories - including bed and breakfast of the year, tourism event of the year and tourism pub of the year - with silver, bronze and highly commended accolades also to be announced.

Among those to attend the ceremony will be VisitEngland’s chairman Viscountess Cobham, who will present the award for visitor information provider of the year.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone shortlisted for the North East England Tourism Awards 2014,” she said.

“To reach the shortlist is a fantastic achievement. I am very much looking forward to attending the awards, as it is such a special event for the tourism industry and no doubt the North East’s pride and passion will shine through in the celebrations.”

Winners of the regional awards will also have the opportunity to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards 2015.

Earlier this year, seven North East businesses went on to see success nationally following last year’s regional awards, including St Cuthbert’s House (Bed & Breakfast of the Year) and Seafield Caravan Park (Caravan Holiday Park of the Year), who both won gold.

North East England Tourism Awards 2014 shortlist

Access for All Tourism Award

• Discovery Museum, Newcastle

• Calvert Trust Kielder

• Sage Gateshead

Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year Award

• Martineau Guest House, Tynemouth

• Northumbria University, Newcastle

Business Tourism Award

• Event Durham, Durham University

• Sodexo Prestige / Newcastle United

Caravan Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year Award

• Ord House Country Park, Berwick upon Tweed

• Golden Sands Holiday Park, Creswell

• Seafield Caravan Park, Seahouses

• Northumbrian Water / Leaplish Waterside Park, Kielder

Large Hotel of the Year Award

• Jurys Inn, Newcastle

• Matfen Hall Hotel, Northumberland

• Newcastle Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel

• Gisborough Hall Hotel

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year Award

• National Glass Centre, Sunderland

• Beamish, the living museum of the north

• Sage Gateshead

• International Centre for Life, Newcastle

Self Catering Provider of the Year Award

• Rennington Cottages, Rennington

• Springhill Farm, Seahouses

• Calvert Trust Kielder

• Herding Hill Farm, Haltwhistle

Taste of England Award

• Zeera, South Shields

• Northumberland Cheese Co. Ltd

• Carriages Tea Room, Bellingham

• Knitsley Farm Shop, Consett

Tourism Event of the Year Award

• Locomotion, The National Railway Museum at Shildon / Mallard 75 - The Great Goodbye

• South Tyneside Council Events Team - South Tyneside Summer Festival

• Northumbrian Water - Kielder Winter Wonderland

Tourism Experience of the Year Award

• Iles Tours, Newcastle

• Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester

• Lane7, Newcastle

• The Cycle Hub, Newcastle

Tourism Pub of the Year Award

• The Bridge Tavern, Newcastle

• The Staith House, North Shields

• South Causey Inn, Stanley

Visitor Information Provider of the Year Award

• Durham Visitor Information Network

• NewcastleGateshead Visitor Information Centre

• Northumberland National Park Centre, Once Brewed

Small Hotel of the Year Award

• Langley Castle Hotel, Hexham

• Seaham Hall, Durham

• Doxford Hall Hotel and Spa

Sustainable Tourism Award

• St Cuthbert’s House, Seahouses

• Durham University

• Sage Gateshead

• Northumberland National Park Centre, Once Brewed

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year Award

• Ouseburn Trust – Victoria Tunnel

• WWT Washington Wetland Centre

• Kielder Observatory

• The Cycle Hub, Newcastle


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