Now in their fourth cycle, the awards celebrate best practice across the West Midlands tourism industry in 14 categories, including “Tourism Event/Festival of the Year”, “New Tourism Business” and “Taste of the West Midlands”.
The awards highlight the importance of tourism’s contribution to the West Midlands. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, spending by visitors to the West Midlands contributed an annual £13.1 billion to the region’s economy. That number is expected to increase significantly following a successful 2022 for the West Midlands in the international spotlight, boosted by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Coventry UK City of Culture.
Supported by the West Midlands Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board (THAB) and the West Midlands Growth Company – which attracts visitors and events to the region – the awards are free to enter and will be independently judged. The closing date for entries is 16th June, with the 2024 awards ceremony taking place early next year.
Andrew Lovett OBE, Chair of the West Midlands Tourism & Hospitality Advisory Board, said:
“Awards help to raise standards. They show us what best looks like, and inspire us to do better. That’s good for visitors, delegates, clients and customers, and it’s good for business.
“So, whether you’re an events venue, festival, visitor attraction, pub, restaurant or accommodation provider, I encourage you to get involved. Together, let’s celebrate the people and businesses, which make the West Midlands such a welcoming place.”
The gold and silver winners of each West Midlands Tourism Awards category are automatically shortlisted for VisitEngland’s National Awards for Excellence, this year being held on 7th June at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
Following a rigorous judging process, The ICC Birmingham (Silver – Business Events Venue of the Year) and Eaton Manor Country Estate (Gold – Self Catering Accommodation of the Year) have been selected to compete for a national VisitEngland award this summer. They will hope to follow in the footsteps of the Black Country Living Museum, which won Gold in the Resilience & Innovation category in the national awards last year.
Kelly Haslehurst, Marketing Director for NEC Group Conventions and Exhibitions (operator of the ICC Birmingham), added:
“For colleagues in the tourism and hospitality sector to select the ICC for the national VisitEngland awards, is testament to the customer excellence that our team consistently delivers on behalf of clients. The profile of these awards is a key enabler for us to further amplify the venue’s reputation and showcase the dynamism of our industry here in the Midlands. I would urge any business to get involved.”
For more information about the 2024 West Midlands Tourism Awards, including details of how to enter, visit makeitwm.com/wmta.