An amazing decade of achievement, progress and growth will be reflected by the 2019 Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards (the REYTAs), which are officially launched today by Visit Hull and East Yorkshire.
The search for the region’s best, brightest, most successful and innovative tourism businesses will culminate in a glittering awards night next March at Hull's showpiece Bonus Arena, the £36 million concert, conference and events venue which opened in July. Regarded as the tourism “Oscars”, the REYTAs honour the very best, from major visitor attractions and events to hotels and accommodation providers, restaurants, pubs, cafes, food retailers and producers.
2019 marks ten years since the awards were first held and in that time, the value of tourism to the area has grown from £698 million to £835 million annually and is responsible for an additional 2,500 jobs.
For 2019, there are 14 REYTAs up for grabs, including a new category - Remarkable Food Experience - which is open to establishments and organisations providing a consistent quality food or drink experience outside of a traditional restaurant setting, including breweries, vineyards and food/drink festivals and markets. The REYTAs are open to all tourism businesses in Hull and East Yorkshire, large and small. Entry is free and easy to complete and can be done online, from today, by visiting www.visithullandeastyorkshire.com/reyta
Entries must be in by Friday January 18, 2019, after which a shortlist of finalists will be drawn up. Judging will then take place via independent panels and mystery shopping, ahead of the finals night on Thursday March 14.
One of those who triumphed in 2018 was Elaine Townend, owner of The Toll Cottage in Cottingham, who received a Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Award for the best bed and breakfast and boutique accommodation in the region. Elaine said: “It’s been a fantastic year. When you’re running a business like this you have to get your name out there and the publicity we’ve received as a result of winning has been invaluable. We’ve been in newspapers and magazines and I even got an invite to appear on the Channel 4 programme Four in a Bed. We’ve been full all year and business shows no sign of slowing as we go into winter."
Councillor Richard Burton, cabinet portfolio holder for leisure, tourism and culture at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "The Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards (REYTAs) are now in their tenth year and continue to go from strength-to-strength. Being shortlisted for one of these prestigious awards is a great achievement and those who go on to win represent the very best of what our area has to offer. The REYTAs recognise the quality of businesses and individuals working in the tourism industry, locally, and acknowledges the contribution they make to our area’s visitor economy. Tourism is one of East Yorkshire's most important industries, supporting over 17,000 jobs and bringing in £835 million a year to the local economy."
The full list of categories is:-
1. REMARKABLE Hotel: Open to full service hotels of any size that offer a minimum of reception, bar, dinner and breakfast to provide the best overnight stay and the highest standards of accommodation in Hull and East Yorkshire.
2. REMARKABLE Bed & Breakfast: Open to all types of guest accommodation, including B&Bs, guesthouses, boutique accommodation, farmhouses, inns, and restaurants with rooms that provide the best overnight stay and the highest standards of accommodation in Hull & East Yorkshire.
3. REMARKABLE Self Catering Provider/Property: Open to all self-catering accommodation, including serviced apartments, houses, cottages, flats, lodges, tepees, yurts and shepherds huts.
4. REMARKABLE Taste of East Yorkshire: This category is open to producers, processors or growers of local food and drink products, vineyards, breweries, farms and co-operatives. Entries must demonstrate creativity in their use or production of local produce, how the produce is made available to customers and creative marketing.
5. REMARKABLE Food Experience: Open to establishments and organisations providing a consistent quality food or drink experience outside of a traditional restaurant setting, including food/drink festivals. Entries must be able to demonstrate a quality visitor experience or attraction as part of their offer, such as tasting experiences, courses or demonstrations and/or engagement with the visitor.
6. REMARKABLE Cuppa: Open to any tourism business such as tearooms, café, hotel or visitor attraction, that serves the best cup of tea or coffee and refreshments in Hull and East Yorkshire.
7. REMARKABLE Restaurant: The restaurant, hotel or pub that serves the best food in Hull and East Yorkshire.
8. REMARKABLE Pub: For the best pub in Hull and East Yorkshire serving the highest quality of bar food and beverages in the finest surroundings in the region.
9. REMARKABLE Business Tourism Award: This award acknowledges the huge importance of business visitors to the meetings, conferences and exhibitions sector in Hull and East Yorkshire. Open to any organisation in the business tourism sector including exhibition centres, convention hotels, country house properties, conference, banqueting and training venues.
10. REMARKABLE Holiday Park/Holiday Village: This award recognises Caravan and Holiday Parks, Touring Parks, and Camping and Touring Parks that have boosted business by making the most of their distinctive appeal.
11. REMARKABLE Newcomer: This award is for a newcomer to the Hull and East Yorkshire tourism industry. Individuals and tourism businesses may apply including attractions/experiences, food and drink providers and accommodation establishments that have set up between 1st January 2017 and 30th June 2018.
12. REMARKABLE Visitor Attraction/Experience: What is the best tourism attraction or experience in Hull & East Yorkshire that puts a smile on visitors’ faces and creates special memories? This award will be given to the tourism attraction/provider that delivers an outstanding and unique experience.
13. REMARKABLE Tourism Event: What is the best event, experience or festival in Hull and East Yorkshire that takes place over a day, weekend, week, month or season? The event can be free or paid for; a one-off happening or a rolling series of annual events.
14. REMARKABLE East Yorkshire Passion: The person is selected by the Visit Hull and East Yorkshire Advisory Board Group who in their judgement has made a significant contribution to tourism in our region. Nominations are invited from the local tourism industry.