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Enjoy England Awards For Excellence

Friday, 24th April 2009

The Great English Pub Wins Tourism Award

Enjoy England Awards For Excellence Celebrated On St George’s Day

The great English ‘pub’ has scooped the award for ‘outstanding contribution to tourism’ at this year’s Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, organised by VisitEngland and sponsored by The Caravan Club. Actor Neil Morrissey, proprietor of the restored Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn pub in Yorkshire, picked up the prestigious tourism award on behalf of all publicans at last night’s award ceremony.

Previous winners of this outstanding contribution award have included Michael Eavis CBE, HM The Queen, the Harry Potter films, Sir Cameron Mackintosh and in 2007, Sir Paul McCartney and Liverpool. This year’s accolade was given to pubs for the integral part they play in the fabric of the English way of life and the opportunity they provide for domestic and international visitors to meet local people and enjoy local foods and drink. Research carried out by VisitEngland has revealed that many visitors from overseas put visiting a pub very high on their list of things to do on their holiday in England. A delighted Neil Morrissey said: “I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of everyone who loves their local pub and loves visiting pubs as they travel around the country. Pubs are important. Having restored a pub myself at the centre of a village I really believe they are the heart and soul of communities and the place that should offer the best welcome to visitors. I am thrilled to accept this award on behalf of publicans everywhere for the huge work they do in supporting local tourism.”

The Enjoy England Awards for Excellence were held in The National Railway Museum in York, on 23 April as a celebration of St George’s Day. Celebrating their 20th Anniversary, these annual tourism ‘BAFTAs’ recognise the crème de la crème of domestic tourism. The eighteen gold winners in this year’s awards include an eco-friendly café in Devon, London walking tours, beautifully converted medieval cottages set in an apple orchard in Herefordshire, a country B&B in Cumbria offering extraordinary castle style accommodation and a caravan park in Devon providing luxury touring facilities all year round. Lady Cobham, new VisitEngland chairman said: “The Enjoy England Awards for Excellence recognise the rising quality and diversity of holiday experiences on offer in England. On the twentieth anniversary of the awards, we are delighted that there is such a broad range of exciting, unique, high quality holiday experiences on offer in England particularly as holidaymakers are looking to take a break closer to home this year. More than ever this year, the winners showcase excellent value for money English breaks and some of England's best-kept secrets from foodie gems and quirky attractions to sustainable coffee shops and inspirational information services. England is an exciting world-class tourism destination, in which to discover something new. We are proud to honour the people behind those outstanding tourism businesses who play a vital role in encouraging visitors to holiday in England.”

Director General of The Caravan Club, Trevor Watson said: “As a provider of quality accommodation ourselves, we are very proud to sponsor these awards which recognise the finest in English tourism.  This sector is a true success story where we are witnessing ever-improving standards.  Enjoy England Awards for Excellence nominees continually raise the bar and exceed expectations so I congratulate each and every winner for their amazing personal achievement and all the hard work these accolades represent”.

Full details of all the winners click here

The Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2009 celebrate the best of English tourism and are in their twentieth year. They promote healthy industry competition and high standards, helping to ensure England's place as a world-class destination.

There are seventeen different categories, from visitor attractions and hotels to self-catering accommodation and caravan parks. Entries are submitted to the regional tourism partners and then short-listed to the national finals, culminating in the Awards ceremony in April.

For further information please contact Helen Batte, Tourism Press Officer on 01925 400235 or 07764 239856 or

For urgent out of hours press enquiries please call 01925 400259.

For further information and to view previous press releases visit us at  

 The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) leads the economic development and regeneration of England's Northwest and is responsible for:

  • Supporting business growth and encouraging investment
  • Matching skills provision to employer needs
  • Creating the conditions for economic growth
  • Connecting the region through effective transport and communication infrastructure
  • Promoting the region’s outstanding quality of life


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