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Your chance to enter Cumbria’s Tourism ‘Oscars’

Cumbrian tourism businesses inspired by the glitz and glamour of the Oscars could have their own chance to walk the red carpet at Cartmel Racecourse this summer, with the launch of the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2019 – the biggest awards of their kind representing the county’s £2.9billion tourism industry.

Businesses have from today until 5.00pm Friday 22 March to enter one or more of the 16 categories celebrating the very best of Cumbria’s vibrant visitor economy. Exciting changes for 2019 include the launch of two brand new awards: a Makers and Producers Award and an Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award.

The Makers and Producers category is open to those local businesses which contribute to tourism by making their own products in the county, ranging from high quality food and drink to jewellery, crafts and giftware. Meanwhile, the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award is all about celebrating those businesses which go the extra mile to create holiday experiences that make all visitors feel welcome and included.

The Experience of the Year is also being broadened out to include the full breadth of potential visitor experiences, including arts and culture, adventure, conservation, spa experiences and more.

The winners will be unveiled at a special ceremony at Cartmel Racecourse on Wednesday 19 June, along with an audience of around 400 guests. Many of Cumbria’s award-winners will also go forward to the national VisitEngland Awards 2020.

The 2019 Cumbria Tourism Awards are being held in association with headline sponsor United Utilities and the application process is quicker and simpler than ever before.

The full list of categories for this year’s awards includes:

  • Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award: NEW CATEGORY sponsorship available
  • Large Hotel of the Year NEW CRITERIA sponsored by Christie & Co
  • Small Hotel of the Year NEW CRITERIA sponsored by Colliers International
  • B&B and Guest House of the Year NEW CRITERIA sponsored by Lamont Pridmore
  • Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year sponsored by Out of Eden
  • Camping, Glamping & Holiday Park of the Year NEW CRITERIA sponsored by NatWest Commercial Banking
  • Small Visitor Attraction of the Year sponsorship available
  • Large Visitor Attraction of the Year sponsored by H&H Reeds
  • Pub of the Year sponsorship available
  • Taste of Cumbria Award sponsored by Cumberland Business
  • Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award: Sponsorship available
  • Experience of the Year: NEW CRITERIA FOR 2019: Sponsored by Carlisle Lake District Airport
  • Makers and Producers Award: NEW CATEGORY sponsorship available
  • Wedding Venue of the Year sponsorship available
  • New Tourism Business Award: sponsored by Thomson Hayton Winkley
  • The Sheila Hensman Award for Outstanding Contribution to Excellence

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “The Cumbria Tourism Awards are a great way for tourism businesses to showcase the quality of what they do, as well as gathering invaluable feedback and insights into their business and exploring how they can grow, develop and innovate for the future.

“The judges are looking for tourism operators that offer truly distinctive, memorable visitor experiences and demonstrate excellence across every aspect of their business. Our tourism businesses offer the highest quality to visitors, so I have no doubt we will see some fantastic entries again this year!”

Merewood Country House Hotel won the Taste Cumbria Award 2018. Executive Commercial Manager at Lake District Country Hotels, Joe Cobb, says, “We were delighted to win the Taste Cumbria Award. We had hoped that by winning the award, it would give us more brand exposure but we had totally underestimated the feel good factor it created within our team which resonated for months after. This won’t be the last time that we enter.”

Cumbria Tourism is grateful to its sponsors for making the competition possible again this year.  They include headline sponsor United Utilities and category sponsors: Carlisle and Lake District Airport, Christie & Co, Colliers International, Colourmedia, Cumberland Business, H&H Reeds, Heineken, Lamont Pridmore, Out of Eden, NatWest Commercial Banking and Thomson Hayton Winkley.

Full details about how to enter and the application forms, entry criteria and terms and conditions can be found here.  Businesses do not need to be a member of Cumbria Tourism to apply.

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