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, there have been changes to the 2020/21 and 2021/22 Awards cycles. 


2020/21 Awards cycle


As a result of only a few local competitions running and naming winners, the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence will not run in 2021.


The following competitions ran full awards competitions for the 2020/21 awards cycle (now closed for applications):


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

White Rose Awards

Beautiful South Awards

Winners from these local competitions will be recognised at a local level only.


2021/22 Awards cycle


With the agreement of the Awards Steering Group, planning is underway for the 2021/22 awards cycle, which aims to see a return to the awards format successfully followed for the 2019/20 cycle. Local competitions may open for applications for this cycle from May 2021, timescales will vary by competition.


This awards cycle will be kept under on-going review.

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