Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to this FAQs page for answers to some of the most common queries.

What are the Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Tourism Awards?

Now in their eleventh year, the awards are a prestigious competition for tourism and hospitality businesses throughout Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. They were previously known as the Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism & Good Food Awards.

With 19 categories covering tourism, hospitality and leisure, the awards showcase the very best Staffordshire and Stoke has to offer and recognise and reward the outstanding work done by businesses and people throughout the region which makes it a great place to visit, live, and work.

Affiliated to the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2025, our awards are the only route for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent business to the national stage, and we attract more entries than any other competition in the Midlands

The Staffordshire & Stoke Tourism Awards culminate in a black-tie gala dinner and presentation ceremony usually held in March.

In 2024 around 300 decision makers from across the region were in attendance as well as other key dignitaries from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Who can enter the awards?

Any tourism, hospitality and leisure business located within the county of Staffordshire, including the City of Stoke-on-Trent, and the parts of the Peak District National Park and the National Forest which are situated within the county’s boundaries can enter.

You do not have to be a member of the LVEP to enter any of the categories, but you must meet the eligibility criteria for the category or categories you are entering.

Is it free to enter?

Yes, the awards are free to enter, and you will receive free feedback. 

If you are a winner, you will be able to use the winners logo (and get associated PR benefits), receive a certificate and/or a trophy and get an opportunity to attend the awards ceremony. The only costs that could be incurred by entrants are:

  1. If you get shortlisted and visited by one of our judges, any costs incurred will need to be met by the entrant as outlined in our T&Cs.
  2. Awards ceremony tickets will be available to purchase to attend the event.

How do I enter?

Applications are made online via the Open Water Tourism Awards Application Portal.  You can register with the portal (or login if you already have an account), start your application, save it and return to it later if required, before submitting it prior to the closing date.

See our Award Categories page for more information

Can I get help with my entry?

Yes, in 2024 we will be running a couple of online workshops / webinars to help you with your applications. The dates for these are Wednesday 3rd July and Tuesday 16th July.

They are free to attend, hosted on Zoom / Teams and last around 90 minutes. The content will be the same at each event, so please use the links below to sign-up for one of the sessions. Places are limited to 35 participants and booking closes 2 days before the event.

FREE online applicant workshop 1: Wednesday 3rd July 14:00 - 15:30

FREE online applicant workshop 2: Tuesday 16th July 10:30 - 12:00 

In the meantime, you can check out our Hints & Tips for Applicants page for more information and watch a recording of a previous webinar on YouTube.

I’m a small business, how can I compete against larger businesses with more resources?

Our professional judges are experienced and well used to comparing businesses of varying types and sizes, usually asking themselves the question: “can this business be any better at what it is?” as well as "how well does this business deliver to its target audience?"  Customer expectations differ for different business types and sizes, and so do those of our judges.

When do the awards open for entries?

Applicants can enter from Monday 10th June 2024. See our Award Categories page for details of how to enter,

What are the terms and conditions of entry?

Please go to our Terms & Conditions page to read the T&Cs carefully before entering the competition.

What are the categories?

There are 19 categories for all types and sizes of tourism business, covering accommodation, attractions, experiences and food & beverage, as well as cross-sector categories relating to accessibility and sustainability. Visit our Award Categories page to find out more.

How many categories can I enter?

You can enter multiple categories, providing you meet the eligibility criteria of all categories you are entering, and subject to any specific rules relating to the category e.g. pubs/restaurants must choose between, pub, casual dining or restaurant and enter one category only.

When is the closing date for entries?

Entries close at Midnight on Monday 2nd September 2024

How is the competition judged?

Independent professionally qualified judges are commissioned to undertake the judging. Please see our Judging the Awards page for more details.

If you have other questions or queries that are not covered by our FAQs, please email us on

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