We have been shortlisted as finalists in the West Midlands Tourism Awards 2022!

It’s a bit of an understatement to say the past two years haven’t been easy for the tourism industry. Especially for companies like us at Go Cotswolds, which are small, independent family-run businesses.

To be honest, we are grateful just to still be here after the challenges the pandemic has thrown at us!

So imagine our delight when this email plopped into our inbox the other day: “Congratulations on being shortlisted for the West Midlands Tourism Awards 2022!”

West Midlands Tourism Awards 2022: Experience of the Year

This family enjoyed a family day out in the Cotswolds

Yes, we are one of 3 finalists in the ‘Experience of the Year’ category!

We’re in good company, too. Also shortlisted for this award are our good friends at Shakespeare Distillery in Stratford-upon-Avon, and The Roundhouse in Birmingham.

Have you been following our progress here at Go Cotswolds for a while? If so, you will know that we have won a West Midlands Tourism Award before. At the inaugural 2020 edition of the Awards, we received a Silver Award for International Tourism, and we were absolutely gobsmacked.

Back then, in February 2020, we had only just started to hear about this mystery virus. COVID-19 hadn’t yet hit the UK with any real impact. Of course we all know what happened next…

We were in lockdown for 11 months of the last 2 years, and restricted in some way for most of the rest of the time. So, it’s an honour to be in the running again!

What are the West Midlands Tourism Awards?

Facilitated by the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC), the West Midlands Tourism Awards is a celebration of tourism businesses across the West Midlands area, including venues, people, experiences and attractions.

According to the Awards’ website: “The 2022 awards will celebrate the success and resilience of tourism businesses across the region and promote the strength of the business and leisure tourism offer, its venues, people, experiences and accommodation.”

The awards also serve to highlight the importance of tourism’s contribution to the regional economy, which stood at £13.1bn in 2019. Together with our industry partners, we will seek to grow the economic value of tourism during the next decade, using major events including UK City of Culture 2021 in Coventry and the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games as a way to bounce back post C-19.”

There are 14 Awards categories in the West Midlands Tourism Awards. The winners of each category will not only be crowned regional champions, but will also be put forward to be in with a chance of receiving “the highest accolade in English tourism”: a VisitEngland Award for Excellence.

How did Go Cotswolds become a finalist?

A few months ago, we submitted an application for an award in the Experience of the Year category. It was quite a lengthy application form, which involved detailed descriptions about what we do.

The West Midlands covers a huge region. It encompasses the counties of Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire. It also includes Birmingham, the second biggest city in England! It’s pretty cool to be finalists!

What happens next?

Next, a ‘mystery-shopper’ will visit us in the coming weeks. We won’t know who they are, or when they will take a tour with us! A panel of industry experts will then decide the winners of each category. Their decisions will be based on the mystery shopper’s feedback, and further scrutiny of our application.

We’ll hopefully attend an Awards Ceremony and dinner in March 2022. This is where we will learn if it’s Gold, Silver or Bronze. Whatever happens, we feel like winners already!