VisitEngland launches refreshed tourism awards

12 March 2019

VisitEngland has launched a new Awards for Excellence format to reflect innovations across England’s tourism industry as it marks 30 years of the Awards.

The national tourism agency announced the new format during the Awards 30th celebrations held at London’s Banqueting House on Whitehall.

The annual VisitEngland Awards for Excellence celebrate quality, innovation and best practice across the country’s tourism industry. The refreshed format introduced embraces the impact of digital technology, the growing demand for experienced-based travel and tailoring tourism products and services that cater for international visitors.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“The tourism landscape in England is continuously evolving with visitors using technology to personalise the products they choose and our Awards must keep up with the aspirations of tourists. 

“The new VisitEngland Awards for Excellence have been redesigned, refreshed and streamlined to better reflect today’s tourism landscape. They also adhere to the guiding principles of the awards, recognising and rewarding the outstanding quality and standards thriving at the heart of our industry.”

New categories introduced for 2019-20 include ‘Experience of the Year’, ‘International Tourism Award’ and ‘New Tourism Business Award’ as well as simplified application forms and a new application management platform. 

The judging panels will be tailored to suit each category type whether assessing sustainability, accessibility or food, leading industry figures will take part in the judging to ensure rigorous assessments.

The revamped Awards align with the 18 regional competitions that take place across the country, ensuring local winners are automatically put forward for the national Awards.

VisitEngland will also support destinations that do not currently hold local competitions to launch Awards of their own, giving greater coverage across England.

Applicants for 2019-20 will first need to progress through a regional competition, the first two of which opened recently in the south west and Cumbria.

Tourism in England contributes £106 billion annually to the British economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth.

More information will be available shortly via

A full list of core categories for 2019-20 is below:

  1. B&B and Guest House of the Year
  2. Small Hotel of the Year
  3. Large Hotel of the Year
  4. Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year
  5. Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year
  6. Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
  7. Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
  8. Pub of the Year
  9. Experience of the Year
  10. New Tourism Business Award
  11. Taste of England Award
  12. Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award
  13. Business Events Venue of the Year
  14. Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award
  15. International Tourism Award


Note to Editors:

Please note that local/regional feeder competitions may not carry all core categories, or may choose to combine or split these categories. For details of which categories are being carried in each competition, see the relevant website.