Top honours for Liverpool City Region’s £3bn a year Visitor Economy

Posted 15th June 2012
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Tourism Awards Recognise and Reward Best of the Best

The cream of Liverpool City Region’s growing Visitor Economy have landed top honours at the destination’s Annual Tourism Awards 2012.

More than 400 guests joined the celebrations to recognise quality and excellence during a black tie ceremony hosted by local TV personality Terri Dwyer at the BT Convention Centre tonight (Thursday, 14 June, 2012) – a full list of winners is below.

The Awards are organised by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – Tourist Board for the destination. This City Region’s Visitor Economy generates £3billion a year and is estimated to support 42,300 jobs.

The 67 finalists across 16 categories showcase a diverse Visitor Economy with Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, St.Helens, Knowsley and Halton all represented. This year’s finalists range from small independently owned businesses to large companies.

Eleven categories honoured tonight will now go forward to represent the Liverpool City Region in VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence.

Presentations made tonight include two new awards, firstly, the People’s Choice Award – which had open criteria allowing people to vote for their favourite attraction, restaurant, gallery or event. It was won by The Beatles Story. The second new category was Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year, which was won by Sally Boyd from The Wro in West Kirby, Wirral.

A special surprise award was also announced on the night. As accolade for Outstanding Contribution to the Tourism Sector went to The Beatles in recognition that 2012 is the 50th year since the band’s formation – and to also mark Sir Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday this coming Monday (18 June).

The new Museum of Liverpool scooped two awards – Tourism Event of the Year and Tourism Marketing Initiative of the Year for its ‘People’s Opening’ events. Since opening, the £72million Pier Head museum has already welcomed almost 1.2 million visitors.

For the third year running, Hope Street Hotel was named Hotel of the Year. The Taste Liverpool award was won by Delifonseca Dockside at Brunswick Dock.

Liverpool ONE was named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, with Darkstar Ultimate Laser Arena in St.Helens taking the title of Small Visitor Attraction.

Damian Jones from Base2Stay Liverpool beat off stiff competition from across the City Region to win the Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Pam Wilsher, Head of Visitor Economy Development for the Liverpool LEP, commented: “These awards recognise and reward excellence in this important and growing sector, and the winners and finalists all play a vital role in the region’s flourishing Visitor Economy. Every year we are encouraged not only to see record numbers of entries, but the quality benchmark rising higher and higher.

“Liverpool Celebrates 50 Years of The Beatles is a year-long programme of events to mark this historic year, so it was fitting that their immeasurable contribution to the tourism sector be acknowledged. And their popularity amongst the general public remains high with The Beatles Story picking up the People’s Choice Award.”

Liverpool City Region Annual Tourism Awards 2012:

* Indicates this category is eligible to represent Liverpool City Region at VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence

Excellence in Customer Service (Sponsored by Hotel Indigo Liverpool)

Damian Jones – Base2Stay Liverpool

Tourism Marketing Initiative of the Year (Sponsored by SK Events & PR)

Museum of Liverpool – Opening Campaign

Highly commended: René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle (Tate Liverpool)

Serviced Apartments of the Year * (Sponsored by BBC Radio Merseyside)

Staybridge Suites Liverpool

Highly commended: BridgeStreet at Liverpool ONE

Culture & Heritage Experience of the Year * (Sponsored by Knowsley Safari Park)

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Highly commended: The John Smith’s Grand National, Sefton

Bar of the Year * (Sponsored by Opus Events)

Leaf Tea Shop & Bar, Liverpool

Taste Liverpool * (Sponsored by Liverpool Fashion Week)

Delifonseca Dockside, Liverpool

Highly commended: The London Carriage Works, Liverpool

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year * (Sponsored by Liverpool Football Club’s Boot Room Sports Cafe)

Darkstar Ultimate Laser Arena, St.Helens

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year * (Sponsored by Virgin Trains)

Liverpool ONE

Highly commended: The Beatles Story

Excellence in Business Tourism * (Sponsored by Merseytravel)

Conferencing & Events, National Museums Liverpool

Guest Accommodation of the Year * (Sponsored by Everton Football Club)

Mere Brook House, Wirral

Highly commended: Base2Stay Liverpool

Excellence in Sustainable Tourism * (Sponsored by Scottish Power)

ACC Liverpool

Retailer of the Year (Sponsored by Liverpool City Central BID)

Cathedral Shop at Liverpool Cathedral

Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year (Sponsored by ACC Liverpool)

Sally Boyd, The Wro, Wirral

People’s Choice Award (Sponsored by Liverpool Hoteliers Association)

The Beatles Story

Tourism Event of the Year * (Sponsored by Stena Line)

Museum of Liverpool – People’s Opening

Hotel of the Year * (Sponsored by Liverpool Vision)

Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool

Highly commended: Hotel Indigo Liverpool and The Vincent Hotel, Southport

Outstanding Contribution to the Tourism Sector (Sponsored by Eric’s)

The Beatles