In case you hadn’t seen our tweets and Instagram posts this week, on Wednesday Tom and I booked a babysitter, threw on our glad rags and attended the West Midlands Tourism Awards ceremony!

Celebrating tourism in the West Midlands

Tom and Lisa on the red carpet!

Held at the University of Birmingham’s Great (and very grand!) Hall, the awards ceremony recognised the region’s finest tourist organisations, which helped to bring a record 131 million visitors to the West Midlands in 2018.

This fantastic evening was hosted by TV presenter Martin Roberts (host of Lisa’s guilty pleasure daytime show ‘Homes Under the Hammer‘!). It included a delicious three course meal, and entertainment from the absolutely brilliant Black Voices a capella group. We were also treated to a performance from the acclaimed musical The Boy in the Dress, which is currently showing at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Of course, the main event was finding out which of the shortlisted finalists had won each of the 15 award categories, including Experience of the Year, Large Hotel of the Year, and the Taste of England award. 

A Silver award for Go Cotswolds!

We’re thrilled to say that Go Cotswolds won a Silver award in the International Tourism category!

The winner of the Gold award in this category was Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, which manages the five Shakespeare homes you can visit in Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s a huge organisation that welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world every year, so our little family business didn’t stand a chance really.

Nevertheless, we’re thrilled to have even been considered for the award and are delighted that Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust brought the award home to Stratford! 

Success for Shakespeare’s England

Among the other winners from across the West Midlands region were our friends Rob & Claire Iles, who run the wonderful Avonlea Bed & Breakfast in Stratford-upon-Avon (B&B and Guesthouse of the Year – Silver Award), Shakespeare Distillery (New Tourism Business Award – Gold), and the Royal Shakespeare Company (Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Gold, and Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award – Silver). 

The full list of winners is below. 

Our sincerest thanks go to Shakespeare’s England, the destination management organisation for South Warwickshire, of which we are members, for sponsoring our tickets to the awards ceremony. 

On to the National Awards!

Excitingly, we have just found out that all Gold and Silver award winners from this regional awards ceremony will now be put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in June!

The competition will be even tougher at national level, so we’re not getting too optimistic about our chances, but we really look forward to the opportunity! 

… and the winners of the West Midlands Tourism Awards 2020 are…

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

B&B and Guesthouse of the Year

Business Events Venue of the Year

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

Experience of the Year

Large Hotel of the Year

Small Hotel of the Year

International Tourism Award

New Tourism Business Award

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Pub of the Year

Taste of England Award