North East tourism stars take centre stage at national awards

It’s double Gold for North East England at last night’s (Wed June 5) national tourism awards.

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For the second year in a row Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours picked up GOLD in the Experience of the Year category at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence for its Grey Seals and Seabirds Cruise. Duncan Wise, Visitor Development & Tourism Officer at Northumberland National Park was also awarded GOLD in the Unsung Hero category.

Blackfriars restaurant received a Silver in the Taste of England category and Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa resort held on to its Bronze title from last year in the Large Hotel category.

The four finalists headed to the national awards, which were held at The Titanic Hotel in Liverpool, after winning Gold at the North East England Tourism Awards in February. The regional tourism awards are delivered by Destination North East England and run in partnership with VisitEngland, the awards celebrate quality, innovation, and best practice, showcasing the fantastic range of high-quality experiences on offer for visitors in our region.

It is absolutely amazing, to have won the first time was brilliant, but to get Gold for a second year in a row is just fantastic. The night was made even more special as it was also my daughter, Charlie’s 18th Birthday, and she was there to celebrate along with me. The hard work and dedication of our staff is what makes this experience so special, the Farne Islands are an amazing place but the staff help to bring it to life for visitors and make it a memorable trip for everyone.
Andrew Douglas, owner of Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours
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It’s an honour to be recognised on a national level for following my passion to conserve our vital dark skies and support people in discovering how wonderful they are. I feel truly fortunate to work every day with colleagues, volunteers, and partners who share my passion for Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and I hope will continue to conserve these wonderful skies for future generations to enjoy
Duncan Wise, Visitor Development & Tourism Officer at Northumberland National Park
What an incredible achievement for our regional finalists and a huge congratulations to Duncan and everyone at Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours for their much-deserved Gold awards. They have not only done themselves and their teams proud but the whole of the North East, helping to shine a light on the fantastic individuals and businesses we have in this region. Being recognised on a national scale is testament to their dedication and passion for their industry. They are fantastic ambassadors for the diverse, innovative and exceptional visitor offer in the North East. Through Destination North East England we are working collaboratively with our delivery partners Visit County Durham and Visit Northumberland and in partnership with all seven local authority partners to unlock the potential of our visitor economy, an industry which is worth £6.1bn and provides employment for 63,000 people. It is our brilliant tourism businesses that will deliver our target of doubling the size of the visitor economy in the next 10 years, creating jobs and providing the welcome and experience that ensure visitors return to the region. The national tourism awards are a brilliant opportunity to celebrate and showcase our businesses. Next year’s North East England Tourism awards are now open and we’d encourage all our tourism businesses to consider applying.
John Marshall, Destination North East England Chair

Apply for the National Tourism Awards

Showcase the fantastic range of high-quality experiences on offer for visitors in our region.


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