The race to become Staffordshire’s best tourism business is now on after the 2018 Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards, supported by Pear Communications, were declared open!

Organisers Destination Staffordshire are encouraging visitor attractions to apply, to try and follow in the footsteps of the National Memorial Arboretum, which won the 2017 Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, and went on to be named the best attraction in the country at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

The Lichfield attraction was one of three winners of 2017 Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards to taste success at the VisitEngland Awards – World of Wedgwood and Colton House, a luxury guesthouse near Rugeley, were also recognised.

World of Wedgwood won Silver for Guided Tour of the Year, while Colton House won Bronze for Sustainable Tourism.

Sarah Oakden, Head of Marketing at the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “We are immensely proud to have been awarded Large Visitor Attraction of the Year in both the Enjoy Staffordshire and VisitEngland National awards. 

“We always strive to provide our visitors with the best possible experience and so this award is true recognition for the efforts of our team – from the volunteers who provide a warm welcome through to the teams in the office, kitchens and grounds. 

“The awards are a great way to sense check the service you are providing and are a fantastic way to celebrate the team’s success. I would encourage everyone in the tourism industry to look at their strengths and enter at least one of the categories. 

“At the Arboretum we are especially proud of our recent and ongoing innovation, and we are delighted to be hosting the Enjoy Staffordshire awards ceremony in our brand new event building, Aspects.”

For the 2018 awards, there are 13 categories in total, with categories for the best places to stay, eat and visit. The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum on Thursday 22nd November 2018.

The gold award winners in 12 of the categories, plus the Pub of the Year and an overall winner from the Taste of Staffordshire Good Food Awards, will go forward to the 2019 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence to compete on a national level. 

To enter, businesses nominate themselves and complete the form at the Enjoy Staffordshire website: www.enjoystaffordshire.com/enter-awards.

Entries should be submitted before 18th September. Advice on completing the form, the benefits of entering, and a full list of categories is available at www.enjoystaffordshire.com/enter-awards

The 2017 winners included Gladstone Pottery Museum (Small Visitor Attraction of the Year), Drayton Manor Park (Best Tourism Experience), Alton Towers Resort (Hotel of the Year) and Dalraddy Cottage in Cannock (Self-Catering Property of the Year).

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