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Lancashire Tourism Excellence Search

Monday, 3rd August 2015

Marketing Lancashire, the county’s destination management organisation, today began the search for this year’s Lancashire Tourism Award winners and announced that the county’s annual celebration of Lancashire’s £3.7billion visitor economy will be held in the magnificent Empress Ballroom at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Thursday 5 November 2015. 

A drinks reception, sponsored by Visit Blackpool, will launch the evening in style welcoming guests to the Lancashire-inspired dinner, awards ceremony and entertainment.

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire comments

“This November, a 700-strong audience will celebrate Lancashire’s tourism excellence. From the smallest business to the largest, each has a chance to win one of 22 coveted tourism awards at the industry’s not-to-be-missed annual celebration of Lancashire.

“These Lancashire tourism businesses provide visitors with a wide variety of high-quality experiences matched with first class hospitality, making our county a leader in the day visitor and short-breaks market, attracting over 63 million people each year.

“Lancashire has enjoyed six years of growth in visitor numbers and visitors are now staying longer and spending even more, which is testament to the absolute pedigree of our tourism offer.”

The Empress Ballroom, Winter Gardens Blackpool, is set to be the biggest Lancashire Tourism Awards in its 12 year history, following previous sell-out events at Blackburn Cathedral (2013) and The Blackpool Tower (2014).       

Winner of the Lancashire Tourism Awards Cultural Venue 2014, The Winter Gardens first opened to the public in 1878 and has been entertaining visitors ever-since.  Thousands of performers have appeared on its stages from world famous Hollywood stars such as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland to more recent British superstars, Peter Kay and One Direction.

The venue also has a long association with dance and its long-running, annual, Blackpool Dance Festival, is loved by dancers who flock there from all over the world.

In 2016, in partnership with International Special Attractions (ISA), the Blackpool Dance Festival goes global, as the event also takes place for the first time in Shanghai, China.

Michael Williams, Managing Director of Winter Gardens said

“We are so pleased to be welcoming Marketing Lancashire and their prestigious awards to the Empress Ballroom this autumn.

“With its spectacular barrel-vaulted ceiling, sparkling chandeliers, pristine parquet flooring and ornate balconies, the Empress Ballroom is a unique 'venue of character'.  Built in 1896, it has hosted an eclectic array of events from political party conferences to rock and pop concerts.

“Ballroom dancing is synonymous with Blackpool and in August 2016 we will be promoting The Blackpool Dance Festival (China) in Shanghai which will raise the awareness of our annual Festival in May which this year celebrated its 90th anniversary here in Blackpool.”

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council said

“We are delighted to be hosting the Lancashire Tourism Awards here in Blackpool again. We look forward to giving a very warm Blackpool welcome to all those who are coming to the UK’s most popular tourist destination.”

Information on all the categories, criteria for entry and application forms can be found on the website www.lancashiretourismawards.com along with information for potential sponsors, who play an essential role in ensuring the only county-wide awards celebrating Lancashire’s tourism excellence continues to flourish.  To join in the excitement leading up to the awards follow @MarketingLancs and #LTA15 on Twitter.

Entry to the awards is free and applications must be submitted by Monday 14 September with the shortlist announced week commencing 24 September.

Those shortlisted will then be invited to interview by the judging panel during the week of 12 October, when each business will have the opportunity to discuss their application in more detail.

For more information on sponsorship or applications contact: Catherine Redshaw on 01772 426465 tourismawards@marketinglancashire.com

The full list of categories follows:

Accommodation:

1. B&B/Guest Accommodation Award *

2. Holiday Park/Holiday Village Award *

3. Small Hotel Award *

4. Large Hotel Award *

5. Self-Catering Holiday Award *

Venues:

6. Conference/Meeting Venue Award *

7. Wedding Venue Award

8. Taste Lancashire Award *

9. Tourism Pub Award *

10. Retail Experience Award

Attractions/Events:

11. Tourism Event Award *

12. Small Visitor Attraction Award *

13. Large Visitor Attraction Award *

14. Cultural Venue/Organisation Award

Contribution to Tourism:

15. Sustainable Tourism Award *

16. Access For All Award *

17. Tourism Superstar Award

18. Luxury Experience Award

19. Visitor Experience Award *

20. Customer Service Award

21. New Business Award

22. Best for Groups Award

*Winners in these award categories will go forward to represent Lancashire at the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2016.

<<ENDS>>

For Media enquiries please contact:

Anna Izza, Head of PR and Communications   01772 426 459

Laura Crabb, PR and Communications Executive 01772 426 456

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For more information, practical advice and support, call Marketing Lancashire on:

01772 426450.