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.
You can apply for as many categories as you wish, subject to the eligibility criteria. There are two types of categories:
- Business type categories e.g. Small Hotel of the Year, designed to find the best businesses in each sector
- 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 in June 2020. You must enter your local tourism awards competition for the opportunity to progress to national judging.
All local competitions aligned with the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence must offer the following categories:
Core Categories for 2019/20 and 2020/21
B&B and Guest House of the Year
Recognises B&Bs and guest houses providing truly memorable guest experiences.
Small Hotel of the Year
Recognises small serviced accommodation businesses providing truly memorable guest experiences.
Large Hotel of the Year
Recognises full service hotels providing truly memorable guest experiences.
Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year
Recognises holiday parks, sites and villages providing truly memorable guest experiences.
Self Catering Accommodation of the Year
Recognises self catering accommodation businesses providing truly memorable guest experiences.
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
Recognises small visitor attraction businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences.
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Recognises large visitor attraction businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences.
Pub of the Year
Recognises pubs that make a significant contribution to tourism, with a food and drink offering that includes quality locally sourced produce.
Experience of the Year
Recognises providers of truly memorable and immersive activities for visitors to participate in.
New Tourism Business Award
Recognises new tourism businesses who understand their market, exceed the expectations of their customers and have clear plans for future development.
Taste of England Award
Recognises businesses within the tourism industry that offer food, beverage and service innovation and excellence.
Local competitions are required to offer at least two of these five categories:
Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award
Recognises tourism businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences for everyone, particularly those with accessibility requirements.
Business Events Venue of the Year
Recognises business events venues that have a clear understanding of the market, exceed expectations and have a strategic plan for development.
Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award
Recognises tourism businesses committed to being sustainable in how they operate and interact with customers, the wider community and the environment.
International Tourism Award
Recognises tourism businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences, particularly for international visitors.
New for 2020/21 - Unsung Hero Award
Recognises an individual working for a tourism business who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment to the industry.
In addition, local awards competitions may choose to offer additional categories at a local level that do not feed up to the national Awards, such as ‘Event of the Year’, which are specific to the destination.
- Local competitions may choose to combine certain core categories e.g. instead of running ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year’ and ‘Large Visitor Attraction of the Year’, a single ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ category may be offered. The winner would be put forward to the most relevant category at national level
- Local competitions may choose to split certain categories e.g. the ‘Taste of England Award’ category could be split into ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Tearoom of the Year’ at local level, with an overall winner selected and put forward for the national ‘Taste of England Award’
- The ‘Taste of England Award’ name may be changed to reflect the local destination e.g. ‘Taste of Cumbria Award’
- Local competition organisers and VisitEngland reserve the right to refuse an application if the business does not meet the eligibility criteria or move an application to another category if deemed more appropriate
- In certain circumstances a local competition may not carry a mandatory core category if there is deemed to be insufficient stock in the area e.g. an urban awards competition may not carry the Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year category
Terms and conditions vary by local competition.