Accepting the award on behalf of Countryfile were presenters John Craven and Adam Henson, alongside the Series Producer and members of the production team. The VisitEngland Board awarded the accolade for the programme’s contribution to raising awareness of England’s rural tourism offer.
Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive VistEngland and VisitBritain said: “BBC’s Countryfile regularly features stunning rural and coastal landscapes which inspire viewers both here and abroad. Through the series, millions of viewers are introduced to the beauty and diversity of England’s countryside and destinations. In doing so the programme positively influences perceptions of England and its attractiveness for tourism, making a vital contribution to the sector, encouraging the viewing public to book holidays to the scenic places they see in the show.”
Joanna Brame, Countryfile Series Producer accepting the award on their behalf said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be accepting this award on behalf the Countryfile team. We are frequently told by viewers that they have been inspired to book a break to a particular part of the country which has featured on the show. It is wonderful therefore that the show has been honoured with an Outstanding Contribution to tourism award. The team work incredibly hard to produce the series and I know that they will be as immensely proud of this award as I am.”
The programme is the only one on the BBC which transmits 52 weeks of the year and recently attracted a peak audience of 9.6 million viewers – the highest in the programme’s history. Watch John Craven and Adam Henson's speeches on YouTube.
The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award celebrates excellence and is judged by the VisitEngland board. Previous recipients have included The Great English Pub, The Travel Agent, Michael Eavis CBE, HM The Queen, the Harry Potter films, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Paul McCartney, Liverpool, The National Trust, the English Garden, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Makers and last year the Chefs of England.
Notes to editor:
About the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016
- Currently in its 27th year, The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016 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 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence are firmly established as representing the highest accolade in English tourism
- The categories for the 2016 awards include: Access for All Tourism Award, Bed & Breakfast Award, Business Tourism Award, Dog Friendly Business of the Year, Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year, Large Hotel of the Year, Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, Sustainable Tourism Award, Taste of England Award, Tourism Event of the Year, Tourism Experience of the Year, Tourism Pub of the Year, Visitor Information Provider of the Year.
- In addition to the 16 categories are the additional Awards of Tourism Superstar and Outstanding Contribution to Tourism
- VisitEngland’s focus is on the development and delivery of the new Discover England fund for product development to ensure that bookable regional product is being sold in international markets. This activity will also benefit the domestic industry by building engagement and partnerships between and across regions and developing product that will be attractive to both domestic and international markets.
- Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on on our England research and insights pages.
- Tourism in England is worth £106 billion, and supports 2.6 million jobs.
- For consumer information visit www.visitengland.com
About English Tourism Week
- English Tourism Week is led by the national tourist board, VisitEngland, and is an industry-wide initiative designed to shine a light on the importance of tourism in England. Hundreds of tourism organisations and businesses will be putting on events to celebrate English Tourism Week this year.
- For more information about English Tourism Week which takes place between 5 – 13 March 2016, see www.englishtourismweek.co.uk and a guide on making the most of local and national things to see and do.