Judging

No matter where you are based in the country, your application will be judged against nationally-set standards, with the same scoring criteria and judging guidance for all core categories at local awards competitions.

vintage car driving past a small country house

VisitBritain/ Michael Cummins

Your online application will be scored and ranked against other local applicants in your category to determine a shortlist. All applicants will receive feedback on how to improve their application, even if they are not shortlisted.

Further rounds of judging, including judging visits with further feedback, may also form part of the judging process.

The overall winners of ‘core categories’ are automatically put forward for national judging. For competitions covering large areas, additional winners may also be eligible to progress.

National judging panels

VisitEngland appoints industry experts across several judging panels to determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze national winners for each category. Please note panel members are subject to change prior to panel meetings.

The following panel members were on the national judging panels for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2021/22. 

Serviced accommodation

The serviced accommodation judging panel experts judge the following categories: B&B and Guest House of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year and Large Hotel of the Year.

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent, the Independent, TV & Radio Presenter
David Weston
Chairman, Bed and Breakfast Association
Peter Hancock
Conference & Awards Host
Susan Briggs
Director – The Tourism Network & TourismKnowhow.com
Nick de Bois
Chair, VisitEngland Advisory Board

Non-serviced accommodation

The non-serviced accommodation judging panel experts judge the following categories: Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year and Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year.

Ros Pritchard OBE
Director General, British Holiday & Home Parks Association
Nikki Nichol
External Communications and Sponsorship Manager, Caravan and Motorhome Club
Jame Foice
Chief Executive, The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers
Allan Lambert
VisitEngland Advisory Board Member
Bob Atkinson
Business Development Manager, Sykes Cottages

Attractions and experiences

The attractions and experiences judging panel experts judge the following categories: Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, Small Visitor Attraction of the Year and Experience of the Year.

Paul Kelly
Chief Executive at British Association of Leisure Parks Piers and Attractions (BALPPA)
Caroline Sanger-Davies
Director & Principal Consultant at Experience Marketing Ltd
Fiona Pollard
VisitEngland Advisory Board member
Liz Terry
Editor and CEO at Leisure Media
Robin Johnson
Europe Director, VisitBritain/VisitEngland

Food and drink

The food and drink judging panel experts judge the following categories: Pub of the Year and Taste of England Award.

Emma McClarkin
Chief Executive Officer at British Beer & Pub Association
Paul Nunny
Executive Director Cask Marque
Sophie Braybrooke
Chief Executive, Stay in a Pub
William Sitwell
Food writer, broadcaster and restaurant critic for The Telegraph
Patricia Yates
CEO, VisitBritain/VisitEngland

Accessibility

The accessibility judging panel experts judge the Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award category.

Kathryn Townsend
Head of Customer Accessibility, Barclays
Carrie-Ann Lightley
Head of Marketing, AccessAble
Chris Veitch
Inclusive Tourism Consultant
Nadine Thompson
VisitEngland Advisory Board member
Ross Calladine
Head of Business Support, VisitEngland and Disability and Access Ambassador for Tourism, UK Government

Sustainability

The sustainability judging panel experts judge the Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award category.

Andrea Nicholas
Chief Executive at Green Tourism
Neil Warren
Sustainable Tourism Consultant, Neil Warren Support
Alison Rice
Travel journalist and broadcaster
Sarah Fowler
VisitEngland Advisory Board Member and Chief Executive of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Jane Dunford
Deputy Head of Travel, The Guardian
Gavin Landry
Americas Director, VisitBritain/VisitEngland