Liverpool Cathedral provided the stunning backdrop for last night’s Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards (2 March).
Recognising excellence across the city region’s tourism and hospitality industry, the annual awards are delivered by Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company.
Double winners on the night were The National Trust and National Museums Liverpool (NML). The National Trust picked up both Large Visitor Attraction of the Year for Speke Hall, and Experience of the Year for The Beatles’ Childhood Homes tour. The Museum of Liverpool won Business Events Venue of the Year, and employee at Hosted by NML, Neve Sutton, won the award for Tourism Young Person of the Year. The ‘Hidden Gem’ award – the only category voted for by the public, recognising the region’s best kept secret, went to Southport’s Bijou Cinema.
Other winners on the night included Liverpool Gin Distillery for Pub of the Year, Small Attraction of the Year went to the British Music Experience and Antonio’s Bar & Grill, based in Prescot won Restaurant of the Year. For the second year running Titanic picked up best hotel, with Escape Live Liverpool winning New Tourism Business of the Year.
The Outstanding Contribution Award went to Paul Beesley – who has been part of Liverpool’s tourism scene for 40 years, working in both the business and leisure sides. He has chaired committees, represented the city region at trade shows, and is the only individual tour guide in the UK to hold the Visit England ‘Quality Assured Tour’ accreditation. He is also a BBC broadcaster, creates podcasts and blogs – often about his passion for The Beatles.
The evening was hosted by Sam Quek MBE – former England hockey player and TV broadcaster, and guests were welcomed with a drinks reception sponsored by Virgin Experience Days.
Mark Basnett, Managing Director at Growth Platform, said, “It’s been a truly wonderful evening, full of inspiration and celebration. Huge congratulations to each and every winner.
“We have much to celebrate and shout about across our city region, and at the heart of all of it is our visitor economy. This success story is thanks to every person here tonight along with many others who have helped drive this sector to become what it is today. Tonight was a great opportunity to say thank you and raise a glass to a truly amazing industry.”
Headline sponsors of the awards were Liverpool BID (Business Improvement District) Company, their CEO, Billy Addy, said, “We are delighted to sponsor this year’s Tourism Awards. Tourism is a vital economic driver in the Liverpool City Region. Each year we invest in attracting visitors, in showcasing the best the city has to offer, from food and drink to culture and spectacle. With Eurovision as a key highlight this year there has never been a better time to celebrate those who make our tourism industry the world class story it is”.
Associate sponsors were Liverpool ONE and Lexus Liverpool. Category sponsors were ACC Liverpool, BDO LLP, Bolland & Lowe, EPIC, Knowsley Safari, Liverpool Cathedral, Lu Ban Restaurant, Merseyrail, Mr Yum, National Museums Liverpool, The Guide Liverpool, Ticket Quarter, Wild Thang and Wirral Chamber of Commerce.
The awards were also supported by Marketing Liverpool, The Metro, MSP Global, Hi Impact Media, Owen Drew and Virgin Experience Days, with the charity partners being Hospitality Action and Local Solutions My Time.