Three new categories have been introduced as part of a revamped VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.
The new format aims to reflect innovations across England’s tourism industry as the tourist board marks 30 years of the awards.
The new-look awards seek to embrace the impact of digital technology, the growing demand for experienced-based travel and tailoring tourism products and services that cater for international visitors.
New categories introduced for 2019-20 include ‘Experience of the Year’, ‘International Tourism Award’ and ‘New Tourism Business Award’ as well as simplified application forms and a new application management platform.
The judging panels will be tailored to suit each category type whether assessing sustainability, accessibility or food. Leading industry figures will take part in the judging to ensure rigorous assessments, according to the national tourism agency.
The revamped awards align with the 18 regional competitions that take place across the country, ensuring local winners are automatically put forward for the national awards.
VisitEngland will also support destinations that do not currently hold local competitions to launch awards of their own, giving greater coverage across England.
Applicants for 2019-20 will first need to progress through a regional competition, the first two of which opened recently in the south-west and Cumbria.
VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said:“The tourism landscape in England is continuously evolving with visitors using technology to personalise the products they choose and our Awards must keep up with the aspirations of tourists.
“The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence have been redesigned, refreshed and streamlined to better reflect today’s tourism landscape.
“They also adhere to the guiding principles of the awards, recognising and rewarding the outstanding quality and standards thriving at the heart of our industry.”
The full list of core categories for 2019-20 is:
B&B and Guest House of the Year
Small Hotel of the Year
Large Hotel of the Year
Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year
Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Pub of the Year
Experience of the Year
New Tourism Business Award
Taste of England Award
Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award
Business Events Venue of the Year
Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award
International Tourism Award
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