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Nine Cumbrian businesses have been named as finalists in the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2012. The nine companies are:
The Beacon (Whitehaven), finalists in the Access for All Tourism Award category
Park Cliffe Caravan and Camping Estate (Windermere), finalists in the Caravan Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year category
Via Ferrata, Honister Slate Mine, (Honister, near Keswick), finalists in the Experience category
The Trout Hotel (Cockermouth) finalists in the Large Hotel of the Year category
Muncaster Castle (Muncaster, Ravenglass), finalists in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category
Ullswater Steamers (Ullswater, Penrith), finalists in the Outstanding Customer Service Award category (member of staff David Hall)
Lakeland Climbing Centre, (Kendal), finalists in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year category
Ullswater Steamers (Ullswater, Penrith), finalists in the Sustainable Tourism Award category
The George and Dragon (Clifton, Penrith), finalists in the Taste of England Award category
The nine finalists now go forward to the glittering Awards Ceremony, which is being held on 22 May 2012 at Athena, an art deco gem located in the heart of Leicester’s cultural quarter.
The Cumbrian tourism businesses will now have to wait until then to find out which award they will receive. All finalists are guaranteed to receive either a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended Award.
Commenting on the finalists James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive said “I would like to congratulate all those nominated as VisitEngland Awards for Excellence finalists this year. This is no small achievement in a year when we have received a record number of submissions. The quality of submissions this year has been outstanding and all of these businesses can justifiably take credit and pride in earning a place at the top of their category in England. I wish everyone all the best for the final in May”.
Ian Stephens Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism said: ‘’It is extremely important for our tourism businesses to be recognised by their peers both locally and nationally. Each year the winners from the annual Cumbria Tourism Awards are encouraged to enter the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. These entrants are then judged and subsequently the winners from each of the 19 categories are recognised as the best in the country. I'm delighted and very proud to say that this year is no exception with nine businesses from across Cumbria representing the county at these prestigious national awards, which contributes significantly towards maintaining the Lake District, Cumbria’s reputation and profile in the national media and travel trade.”
Spokesman Ellis Butcher from Honister one of the Cumbrian businesses in the running for an award said: “Honister has managed to work a piece of magic by mixing the fascinating industrial history of England’s last working slate mine with a thrilling adventure on the cliff-faces, which is unique to the Lake District. It’s a great honour to be up there with the top five best tourism experiences in the country and the credit needs to go to the late Mark Weir and all the staff, whose natural warmth and charm mean visitors to Honister have a first class experience.”
The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2012 celebrate the best of English tourism. They promote healthy industry competition and high standards, helping to ensure England's place as a world-class destination. www.visitenglandawards.org
The 19 categories for the 2012 awards include: Access for all Tourism Award, Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year, Best Tourism Experience, Business Tourism Award, Caravan Holiday Park, Large Hotel (over 35 bedrooms), Large Visitor Attraction (over 100,000 visitors), Outstanding Customer Service, Self Catering Holiday of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year (under 50 Bedrooms), Small Visitor Attraction (under 50,000), Sustainable Tourism Award, Taste of England Award, Best Tourism Event, Tourist Information Service, Tourism SuperStar, Travel Article of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award.
Included in the 19 categories is the additional award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism to be announced on the night. Previous winners of this award have included The Great English Pub, Michael Eavis CBE, HM The Queen, the Harry Potter films, Sir Cameron Mackintosh and in 2007, Sir Paul McCartney, Liverpool and The National Trust.