The inaugural West Midlands Tourism Awards are shining a spotlight on the stars of the £12.6bn business of putting our region on the international map – nominations close on Monday October 28.
The outstanding tourism businesses that are bringing the world to the West Midlands will be celebrated at a new awards show.
The venues, experiences, accommodation and people putting the region on the international map will be recognised at the inaugural West Midlands Tourism Awards, which launches today.
The awards also aim to attract more visitors, events and investment into the region, home to some of the UK’s showpiece attractions.
They are free to enter, with the ceremony taking place in February 2020.
The West Midlands welcomed a record 131 million visitors in 2018 – a 2.6% increase on the previous year, latest figures from the West Midlands Growth Authority (WMGA) show.
They contributed £12.6bn to the region’s economy, a rise of 6.7%.
Experts claim the Peaky Blinders effect has helped generate overseas visitors and our tourism numbers are set to increase with major events on the horizon including Coventry City of Culture 2021 and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.
Everyone from small visitor attractions to international destinations are recognised across 15 award categories.
The closing date for 13 categories is at midday on Monday October 28.
If you run a camping, glamping or holiday park business, or if you’re offering your visitors one of the truly amazing and immersive experiences – and haven’t entered already – then, unfortunately you’re too late, as entries for these categories have already closed.
Nicola Hewitt, Commercial Director at the West Midlands Growth Company, (WMGC) – which aims to attract visitors to the region – said:
“The West Midlands Tourism Awards will help local companies to make their mark, by winning recognition from industry peers.
“The awards also give us an opportunity to celebrate the region as a unique, engaging destination, and highlight the critical role that tourism plays in its economic success.
“We wholeheartedly encourage everyone involved in the tourism sector to join us in celebrating this vibrant industry.”
The awards will also highlight the importance of tourism’s contribution to the regional economy.
The WMGC, with their industry partners, seek to grow this figure over the coming 10 years, using major events such as the City of Culture and Commonwealth Games as springboards.
With Reach plc and destination partners, the regional competition will crown the 15 winners who will have the opportunity to attend the national Awards for Excellence in June 2020.
VisitEngland has updated its awards scheme to reflect the innovations in tourism over the past decade, including the growing demand for experiential tourism, innovation in digital technology, and increasing access to the international market.