Raising glass to tourism’s best

Blackpool Illuminations - previous tourism award winner

Blackpool Illuminations - previous tourism award winner

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IT’S all change when it comes to choosing the best the local tourism industry has to offer.

Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (LBTB) and visitBlackpool have joined forces to present the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards at the Pleasure Beach Paradise Room on September 22.

And, in a major change to previous years, winners will now go head-to-head with victors in other areas for the chance of national recognition.

With the demise of the North West Regional Development Agency, which used to organise the regional awards, the new route will see local winners considered for a place in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

LBTB marketing director Tony Openshaw said: “I’m very proud to say in recent years, Lancashire and Blackpool has walked away with a number of the most prestigious accolades and I look forward to seeing some of our flagship businesses enjoying similar success next year.”

Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for tourism, Coun Graham Cain, said: “Tourism is an essential part of Blackpool’s economy and we are delighted to be working with Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board to highlight the achievements of these businesses and, of course, to welcome the ceremony to Blackpool during the Illuminations – a previous national award winner. It’s also a perfect opportunity to showcase Blackpool.”

The awards this year comprise 17 categories from Small Hotel to Large Attraction, offering all kind of businesses and individuals the chance to have their moment in the tourism spotlight.

Two new categories which will not go forward to the all-England awards are Marketing Campaign and Making A Difference Award, which highlights the contribution of an unsung industry hero.

Entry to the awards is FREE (certain criteria apply) with step one being the completion of the initial entry form, required by Wednesday, August 3, 2011.

The shortlisted businesses will then progress to stage two, requiring the completion of the full entry form by the end of August.

These entries will then be judged by a panel of industry professionals and invited experts and the winners announced at the event on September 22, 2011.

For more information on categories, criteria and to download the Step one initial entry form, go to lancashireandblackpool.com or visitBlackpool.com/awards, email tourismawards@lbtbltd.com or ring Catherine Redshaw on (01257) 226615.

The 17 categories are:

Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation

Small Hotel

Large Hotel

Caravan Holiday Park & Holiday Village

Self Catering

Small Attraction

Large Attraction

Best Tourism Event

Best Visitor Experience

Business Tourism

Taste Lancashire

Access for All

Sustainable Tourism

Outstanding Customer Service

Visitor Information Provider

Marketing Campaign

Making a Difference