Destination Bristol flies the flag for city in major tourism industry awards

July 31, 2020

Destination Bristol, the city’s destination marketing organisation, been named among the country’s best in the finals of the VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence.

The organisation, which takes in the VisitBristol tourism-related brand as well as promoting the city to the conference and meetings industry, is shortlisted in the International Distribution category. 

It is competing against the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative and Visit County Durham for the award, one of 15 that will be presented virtually on August 17.

The awards take place as the UK’s tourist and hospitality industries continue to reel from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Across the Bristol and Bath city region the sectors employ 45,000 people  - 8% of the workforce – and contribute almost £2.5bn to the economy.

Destination Bristol’s shortlisting comes as its board and directors of Bath’s destination management organisation (DMO) Visit Bath are proposing a new body covering both cities to provide a full but cost-effective range of services to businesses in tourism sector.

The distinctive Visit Bath and Visit Bristol brands, and the programmes and services that underpin them, would be retained.

The combined DMO would support travel trade and consumer marketing, a convention bureau, business support and development.

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence champion the very best of the country’s tourism industry celebrating quality, innovation and best practice.

Applications were put forward for national judging from businesses across England including hotels, self-catering accommodation providers, B&Bs, glamping operators, attractions, restaurants, pubs, museums, and conference centres.

The 53 finalists are competing in 15 core categories at this year’s awards, from the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award, the Taste of England Award to Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year and Small Visitor Attraction of the Year.

There will also be four special awards, including the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award.

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “These awards celebrate businesses and individuals in tourism across England who have exceeded expectations and delivered excellence during the last 18 months and it is fantastic to see such an outstanding list of finalists.

“The impressive list reflects the sheer scale of innovation, quality and experiences across our tourism landscape and I congratulate all the finalists and wish them the very best of luck.

“Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards are also a timely opportunity to acknowledge the determination and dedication of tourism businesses across the country who have worked extremely hard to reopen and welcome visitors back safely.”

This year’s awards aligned with 18 local competitions around the country, including the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards, with winners automatically put forward for the national awards.

Also in the running for VisitEngland Awards are the Roman Baths & Pump Room in Bath (Large Visitor Attraction of the Year and International Tourism categories), Bath’s Herschel Museum of Astronomy (Small Visitor Attraction), Wild Wookey at Wookey Hole, Somerset, (Experience of the Year) and the five-star Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, near Bath (Large Hotel of the Year).

• The 2020 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence event will be streamed live at and on YouTube channel VisitEnglandBiz on August 17 from 7pm to 9pm.

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