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. For 2020 the national winners were 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 and 2021/22 Awards cycles are under ongoing review. 


2020/21 Awards cycle


The proposed one-off initiative to recognise businesses within the tourism industry that have demonstrated innovation, resilience and adaptation along with support for their local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic has been postponed.


NB. The following competitions continued to run full awards competitions for the 2020/21 awards cycle (although now closed for applications):


South West Tourism Awards (including Bristol, Bath & Somerset; Devon; Dorset and Cornwall Tourism Awards)

White Rose Awards

Beautiful South Awards

Businesses that have applied to these local competitions may be recognised at a local level only.


2021/22 Awards cycle


Our hope is for the 2021/22 awards cycle to return to the awards format successfully followed for the 2019/20 cycle, circumstances permitting. Local competitions may open for applications for this cycle during 2021, depending on their individual timescales. However, this will be kept under review. More details will be published as soon as they are available.

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