West Midlands Tourism Awards Success
Last week saw the presentation of the West Midlands Tourism Awards. Ann Evans highlights some of the winners.
The West Midlands Tourism Awards celebrated the success of tourism businesses last week, awarding venues, people, experiences and accommodation across the West Midlands region. The glittering 2020 awards ceremony was held at Birmingham University’s Great Hall on 26th February, hosted by Homes Under the Hammer TV presenter Martin Roberts.
The awards are supported by the West Midlands Growth Company, (WMGC) which aims to attract visitors and events to the region. The awards celebrate the venues that have helped to bring a record 131 million visitors to the area in 2018 – a 2.6% increase on the previous year. The West Midlands’ tourism industry is now worth £12.6 billion, a rise of 6.7% and supports more than 135,000 jobs.
As a Coventry Kid, I was delighted to see that Fargo Village in Coventry won the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year. Based in Far Gosford Street, Fargo is the city’s creative quarter. It is an artistically repurposed industrial space designed for creating individual businesses and like-minded visitors. It has a rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere with specialist shops, markets, studios, music, books and art.
Shakespeare’s Distillery based in Stratford-upon-Avon took Gold in the New Tourism Business Award category. Established in 2015 by Simon Picken and Peter Monks, Shakespeare Distillery is an independent artisan spirit producer based in Stratford upon Avon. Everything they produce is in small handcrafted batches, ensuring they can devote time and attention to creating the best tasting spirits around.
Peter Monks, Director at Shakespeare Distillery said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have won Gold in the West Midlands Tourism Awards. Having established our business five years ago, our gins have gone from strength to strength and we introduced our distillery tours and gin school a year ago. Winning this award is testament to our brilliant team who work incredibly hard in producing high quality, locally made handcrafted spirits. We are continuing to expand and improve our visitor offering and are currently renovating a larger area for groups to enjoy our tours and experiences at our distillery.”
Hotel Indigo, based in Stratford-upon-Avon took Silver in the New Tourism Business Award category. This boutique hotel, formerly The Falcon Hotel, opened its doors in April 2019 after a multi-million-pound major restoration project. The Grade 2 listed historic building, which dates to the 16th century, was painstakingly restored over a 22-month period.
Carl Davies-Phillips, General Manager of the hotel said, “We are thrilled to have won a silver award in the West Midlands Tourism Awards, especially in our first year of opening and in such a popular category. Winning silver is testament to the exemplary high standards and commitment to excellence we maintain, and which would not be possible without the dedication and professionalism of my team.”
The hotel has also recently been shortlisted in the Midlands Service Excellence Awards in the Hotel of the Year category and will find out if it has won on Thursday 19 March.
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company said, “The West Midlands Tourism Awards provided a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the very best of our region’s visitor economy offer, which is enjoying a real renaissance. We are entering a defining period where the West Midlands will be in the global spotlight like never before. This ceremony recognised the people who make this region such a great place to visit and the valuable contribution that tourism makes to the local economy.”
Eligible winners from the West Midlands Tourism Awards 2020 will automatically feed into the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020, putting them in the running to be recognised as a national winner.
For details of all the winners and runners up in the 15 categories, go to the website: http://westmidlandstourismawards.com/