REGARDED as the Oscars of the tourism industry, the annual Yorkshire Tourist Board (YTB) White Rose Award winners have been announced and a number of Yorkshire Dales based leisure and tourism operators have come up trumps.
Swinton Park; one of the tourism oscar winners
Photo: Swinton Park
The winners were announced on Tuesday evening (19 September) at the Magna Science Adventure Centre near Rotherham.
81 finalists from across the Yorkshire region were in competition for the 15 coveted awards. The ceremony itself was presided over by YTB's chairman Judith Donovan and took place before an audience of over 550 people including finalists, supporters, invited guests and VIPs.
Yorkshire broadcasters and media personalities Harry Gration and Christa Ackroyd announced the awards and presentations were made by David Andrews, chief executive of YTB.
Two businesses from the Yorkshire Dales came away celebrating: Dave Morris of Swinton Park in Masham picked up the award for Outstanding Customer Service, whilst Harrogate International Centre walked away with the Business Tourism Award of the Year.
Dales businesses presented a strong showing at this years' event with 19 of our tourism operators up for an award. Among those to narrowly miss out are Hesketh Farm Park at Bolton Abbey; Thorney Mire Barn in Hawes; Thirkleby Hall Holiday Cottages in Thirsk and Haworth, Richmond and Sutton Bank Tourist Information Centre's.
Speaking after the awards, David Andrews, Chief Executive of YTB, said: "Year on year the popularity of these awards increases.
...they have won their places in the shortlist thanks not only to the quality of their product, but the style in which the operation is run
David Andrews - YTB
"Not only with businesses entering, but with sponsors looking to ally themselves with a brand that personifies excellence. Without their support the White Rose Awards would not enjoy the prestige they currently do.
"The finalists represent the best of Yorkshire's tourism offering, they have won their places in the shortlist thanks not only to the quality of their product, but the style in which the operation is run, its success and professionalism."
The winners of 12 of the categories - including Swinton Park and Harrogate International Centre - now go forward to the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, organised by VisitBritain, the winners of which will be announced in Spring next year.