Blackpool Tower to host tourism awards in anniversary year

Marketing Lancashire has announced details of the 11th annual Lancashire Tourism Awards, to be held in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Thursday, November 6.

This venue will host an audience of 500 industry-related professionals celebrating the achievements of tourism businesses across the county who help to attract 63 million visitors every year to Lancashire.

2014 also marks the 120th anniversary of the iconic Blackpool Tower, the most beautiful and grandest ballroom in the UK.

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “Following the huge success of last year’s event at Blackburn Cathedral we are working hard to raise the bar again and deliver an event not to be missed. The Blackpool Tower is an iconic world famous landmark that over the years has provided millions of visitors with special memories and it is only fitting that we pay homage to the anniversary by hosting our celebration to tourism in The Blackpool Tower Ballroom.”

Kate Shane, general manager of The Blackpool Tower, said: “I am immensely proud that Marketing Lancashire has chosen to celebrate their annual awards in the magnificent Ballroom, in such a special year for The Blackpool Tower. I hope everyone has a fabulous evening and that they leave with magical memories of this wonderful building.

"2014 has been a very special year for The Blackpool Tower, on Wednesday 14th May the Tower celebrated its 120th birthday and in August we will see the completion of Phase 1 of the restoration work on the Promenade frontage.”

New categories introduced this year include awards for New Business Award highlighting high performing, new businesses showing great potential in the Lancashire tourism market place and Visitor Experience of the Year Award, for those standout visitor experiences in Lancashire from sporting activities, cookery classes, heritage tours or educational experiences.

Ruth Connor added: “Tourism is vital to the economic success and growth of Lancashire, contributing £3.5bn to the local economy and supports over 56,000 jobs. Latest figures show that more visitors are choosing Lancashire for either a short break or for a day visit because of the quality, choice and diversity the county offers, there is literally something for everyone! The industry deserves an awards event that solely recognises and rewards those who are at the best in class.”

The full list of categories:

Accommodation: 1. B&B/Guest Accommodation Award * 2. Holiday Park/Village Award * 3. Small Hotel Award * 4. Large Hotel Award * 5. Self-Catering Holiday Provider Award *

Venues: 6. Conference/Meeting Venue Award * 7. Wedding Venue Award 8. Taste Lancashire Award * 9. Tourism Pub Award * 10. Retail Experience Award Attractions/Events: 11. Tourism Event of the Year Award * 12. Small Visitor Attraction Award * 13. Large Visitor Attraction Award * 14. Cultural Venue/Organisation Award

Contribution to Tourism: 15. Sustainable Tourism Award * 16. Tourism Superstar Award 17 Luxury Experience Award 18. Visitor Experience of the Year Award * – new for 2014 19. Customer Service Award 20. New Business Award – new for 2014 21. Best for Groups Award

*Winners in these award categories will go forward to represent Lancashire at the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2015. Entry to the awards is free and applications must be submitted by Monday 1 September with the shortlist announced on Monday 22 September. Those shortlisted will then be invited to interview by the judging panel during the week of 13 October, when each business will have the opportunity to discuss their application in more detail.