The Winners – Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards 2010/11

9 June 2010

The winners of the 2010/11 Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards took centre stage today, with TV wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan, host of the tourist board’s most hotly contested awards ceremony to date, held at the Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel, near Accrington.

The Awards are supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

With more award categories and more entrants than ever before, this year’s awards has proved a real challenge for the judges. However, 14 winners were eventually selected and a record number of highly commended awards were made.

The event was also a showcase for this year’s Enjoy England Awards For Excellence winners; Blackpool Illuminations winner of Best Tourism Event of the Year; The Ashton B&B, Lancaster, winner of Silver award for Best B&B. Both triumphed last year at the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards 2009/10 and at the regional awards, before progressing to the national finals of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, held on St George’s Day 2010, in Brighton.

Richard Ryan, manager of Blackpool Illuminations and James Gray, owner of The Ashton were congratulated by Michaela Strachan in a short interview, as part of the ceremony.

The winners and highly commended were announced as follows:

Bed and Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year – Sponsored by VisitBlackpool
Winner: Number One, South Beach, Blackpool
Highly Commended: Langtry’s Blackpool

Access for All Tourism Award – Sponsored by Tourism For All
Winner: Mytton Fold Hotel and Golf Complex, Langho

Sustainable Tourism Award – Sponsored by Business Link
Winner: Clough Bottom Farm Cottages, Bashall Eaves
Highly Commended: Caldertop Cottage, Garstang

Small Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Lancashire County Council
Winner: The Midland Hotel, Morecambe
Highly Commended: The Gibbon Bridge Hotel, Chipping

Large Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Welcome to Excellence
Winner: Best Western Premier Leyland Hotel

Best Tourism Event of the Year – Sponsored by Fat Media

Top Three voted by public vote:
Winner – 1940s Wartime Weekend, East Lancashire Railway
2ndPlace – World Fireworks Championships, Blackpool
3rd Place – Festival Bowland

Online Marketing Award – Sponsored by New Mind
Winner: Pleasure Beach Resort, Blackpool
Highly Commended: The Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Taste Lancashire Award – Sponsored by Made in Lancashire and Food North West
Winner: The Highwayman, Burrow
Highly Commended: Greens Bistro, Lytham St Annes

Best Tourism Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Blackpool International Airport
Winner: Go Ape! Rivington
Highly Commended: Martin Mere Swan Spectacular, Nr Ormskirk

Caravan Holiday Park and Holiday Village of the Year – Sponsored by KPMG
Winner: Newton Hall Holiday Centre, Blackpool

Business Tourism Award of the Year – Sponsored by Virgin Trains
Winner: Stanley House, Mellor
Highly Commended: The Midland Hotel, Morecambe

Self Catering Award – The Northwest Regional Development Agency
Winner: The Old Shippon at Mellor
Highly Commended: Martin Lane Farmhouse Holiday Cottages, Burscough

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Workhouse Marketing
Winner: Clitheroe Castle and Museum

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by University of Central Lancashire
Winner: Blackpool Zoo
Highly Commended: Pleasure Beach Resort, Blackpool

Commenting on the ceremony and finalists Mike Wilkinson said:

“Congratulations to all our finalists, highly commended and of course, our Tourism Award 2010 winners. There’s no doubt that the last couple of years have been extremely challenging and for those who have succeeded in enhancing and improving the visitor experience, as well as their business during this period, this has required admirable innovation and exceptional determination.

Recognition from our peers is truly rewarding and today our winners should be very proud of their remarkable achievements. Blackpool Illuminations and The Ashton, both winners last year, went on to win national acclaim at the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, this year we hope the strength of our winners will see further awards heading back to Lancashire and Blackpool.”

The Awards are supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and many of the winners will now go on to represent Lancashire and Blackpool at the England’s Northwest Tourism Awards later this year.

Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism at the NWDA, said: “Lancashire is developing a reputation as a top quality visitor destination with stunning accommodation, unique attractions and excellent food, thanks in part those individuals and organisations that have been recognised at today’s Awards.

“The past 12 months have seen uncertain futures for many sectors, including the tourism industry; therefore today’s prize-winners should be particularly proud of their achievement and I applaud their dedication to delivering only the very best. I hope that some of them will continue their winning streak at the England’s Northwest Awards later this year.”

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