Tourism trio honoured at national awards

By Tim Aldred

07 Jun 2024

Tourism Awards 2024

Three Lancashire tourism businesses won awards at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2024.

The county's hopeful finalists were amongst a shortlist of 48 who competed in 15 categories after winning in their regional competitions. 

La Locanda, The Secret Garden Glamping and Winter Gardens Blackpool were all named winners at the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2023, held at King George’s Hall in February this year. They were the only Lancashire businesses to progress to this year’s national awards.

The Secret Garden Glamping, located in Skelmersdale won the Gold Award for Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year. The business was described as “A luxurious and enchanting retreat nestled in a secluded natural setting, Secret Garden Glamping offers guests a unique and immersive experience for those seeking a blend of comfort, nature and tranquillity. The site emphasises sustainability, seeking to minimise its environmental impacts using renewable energy sources and eco-friendly practices.”

Winter Gardens Blackpool won the Bronze Award for Business Events Venue of the Year. Described as “One of Lancashire’s top versatile event spaces. Spread over 4.9 acres, this sprawling metropolis of a venue includes 12 unique spaces, an Opera House, Empress Ballroom and the Olympia Exhibition Hall, and a new Conference and Exhibition Centre, as well as bars, restaurants and cafés. Winter Gardens Blackpool attracts a diverse range of clients, from the biggest West End shows and industry events to unique festivals and attractions, contributing to over £80 million each year to the local economy.”

La Locanda, located in Gisburn, won the Bronze Awards in the Taste of England category.

Described as “La Locanda was opened in Gisburn in 2003 by Maurizio Bocchi, who dreamt of owning a restaurant that showcases the best culinary experience, while respecting the traditions of Italian cuisine, culture and heritage. Originally from Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, Maurizio gained expertise in agriculture and the manufacture of butter, fresh aged cheeses and cured meats. His restaurant is proud to serve an outstanding menu of seasonal family recipes and handcrafted dishes of authentic flavours using locally sourced ingredients. In 2022, Chef Maurizio Bocchi was named one of Marketing Lancashire’s Taste Lancashire Ambassadors.”

Vikki Harris, marketing and partnership director of Marketing Lancashire, attended the event and said: “These three remarkable Lancashire businesses did the county proud at last night’s Visit England Awards for Excellence. It has been a few years since Lancashire has had three finalists in the national competition and what exceptional finalists and now winners they are!

“Each year Marketing Lancashire’s Lancashire Tourism Awards showcases the county’s leading tourism and hospitality businesses, with the winners then having the chance to enter the national awards. At this level they compete with the very best that England has to offer and it is testament to their unequivocal quality and brilliance that they make it this far.

“Winning at England’s foremost awards for tourism and hospitality is an incredible achievement and we are thrilled and so very proud of them all.  As well as being champions in Lancashire they are now considered the best in the country and will benefit from the local, national and international exposure that they so richly deserve.”

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