Award categories

Whatever your tourism business, there is a category for you. From small B&Bs to large attractions, from historic houses to gin-tasting experiences, we want to recognise the best of England’s tourism industry.

castle overlooking a beach

VisitBritain/Yin Sun Photography

You can apply for as many categories as you wish, subject to the eligibility criteria. There are two types of categories:

  1. Business type categories e.g. Small Hotel of the Year, designed to find the best businesses in each sector
  2. Market-led categories e.g. Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award, designed to highlight any type of tourism business that really understands their target audience

The core categories are set by the Tourism Awards Steering Group and are reviewed annually to reflect latest industry structure and market trends.

The overall winners of these categories at local level are automatically put forward for national judging, culminating in the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence event. Please note that for 2020 the national winners will be announced and recognised virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

You must enter your local tourism awards competition for the opportunity to progress to national judging.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented impact it has had on our industry, the 2020/21 awards cycle will be re-focused on celebrating and recognising businesses and/or individuals working in tourism who have demonstrated great innovation, resilience, adaptation, and compassion within the tourism industry and/or the wider community during the COVID-19 crisis.


Businesses that have already applied to local competitions within the 2020/21 awards cycle may be recognised at a local level if the competition continues to run. However, these winners will not be forwarded to national level. Instead, a new nomination-only initiative will be developed by VisitEngland and the Awards Steering Group for the 2020/21 awards cycle.


More details will be published shortly.


N.B. Our intention is for the 2021/22 awards cycle to return to the awards format successfully followed for the 2019/20 cycle, circumstances permitting. Local competitions will start opening for applications for this cycle from the beginning of 2021, depending on their individual timescales.

It was the highlight of my career…I didn’t stop smiling for a week