SOME of the country’s most environmentally-conscious businesses have been shortlisted for a prestigious national award celebrating their commitment to sustainable tourism.
Once again, members of what is considered to be the world’s leading independent environmental accreditation programme – the Perth-based Green Tourism Business Scheme – have swept the board in nominations for the highly-coveted VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013.
The annual celebrations, now in their 23rd year, are designed to honour the best the country has to offer throughout the tourism industry. A total of 67 finalists have been shortlisted for 14 awards covering a variety of different types of related businesses, including accommodation providers and visitor attractions.
The categories for the 2013 awards include: Access for all Tourism Award; Bed and Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year; Best Tourism Experience; Business and Tourism Award; Caravan Holiday Park; Large Hotel (over 35 bedrooms); Large Visitor Attraction (over 100,000 visitors); Self Catering Holiday of the Year; Small Hotel of the Year (under 35 bedrooms); Small Visitor Attraction (under 50,000 visitors); Sustainable Tourism Award; Taste of England Award; Tourist Information Service; and Tourism Pub of the Year.
In addition, there will be awards presented for Tourism SuperStar and Travel Article of the Year along with a special category for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism, the winner of which will be announced on the night.
Previous recipients of this award have included The Great English Pub, Michael Eavis CBE, HM The Queen, the Harry Potter films, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Paul McCartney, the city of Liverpool, The National Trust and the English Garden.
A total of 320 entries for this year’s awards have been whittled down by the judges to make the shortlist of nominations and the final winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Old Trafford, Manchester on Monday 20 May.
In addition to all four businesses shortlisted for the Sustainable Tourism Award belonging to Green Tourism, a total of 16 other GTBS members have scooped nominations across various categories.
Andrea Nicholas, director of Green Tourism, praised the efforts of all the GTBS members who have reached the finals of the Visit England Excellence Awards and described their nominations as a wonderful endorsement of their endeavours and achievements towards growing a world-class sustainable tourism industry.
She said: “It is great to see so many Green Tourism members shortlisted as finalists in this year’s VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013. Sustainability plays an increasingly vital role in all areas of the tourism industry, from accommodation providers and experience operators to visitor attractions and conference venues.
“Consumers are becoming more and more environmentally conscious and they are looking to businesses to take the lead. Green Tourism works hard with members to improve services for consumers, protect the environment and help individual businesses become more profitable and successful in the process.
“Simple things like sourcing food from local suppliers, cutting down on water use, installing energy saving lighting, increasing insulation and turning dow the heating can all make a big difference to the environment and a business’s bottom line.
“Just to be listed as a finalist for one of VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards is an achievement and an honour. We wish them, and all the other finalists, the best of luck.”
Green Tourism is now the biggest operation of its kind in the world with over 2,500 members and an influence that reaches from North America to New Zealand. It remains the only programme independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland.
GTBS members up for awards this year, and the categories they are shorlisted for, include:
Access for All Tourism Award
Hoe Grange Holidays, Peak District, Derbyshire
One Great George Street, Institution of Civil Engineers, London.
Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year
Fern Cottage Bed and Breakfast, South Gloucestershire
Pendragon Country House, Cornwall
The Salty Monk Restaurant with Rooms, Devon.
Caravan Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year
Kelling Heath Holiday Park, Norfolk
Large Hotel of the Year
Bedruthen Hotel & Spa, Cornwall
The Lowry Hotel, Greater Manchester
The Swan Hotel, Suffolk
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall
Combermere Abbey Cottages, Shropshire
Eaton Manor Country Estate, Shropshire
Tottergill Farm Cottages, Cumbria
Small Hotel of the Year
The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
WWT Washington Wetland Centre, Tyne and Wear
Sustainable Tourism Award
At-Bristol Science Centre, Bristol
Beechenhill Farm, Peak District, Derbyshire
Hoe Grange, Peak District, Derbyshire
Kelling Heath, Norfolk
Tourism Pub of the Year
Rashleigh Arms, Cornwall
Visitor Information Provider of the Year
Gloucester Tourist Information Centre, Gloucestershire
For further information on Green Tourism please visit www.green-business.co.uk or contact Andrea Nicholas on 01738 632162
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Contact: Tracy Kilsby