Page last updated at 21:47 GMT, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 22:47 UK

McCartney stars in tourism awards

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney said he was honoured to receive the award

A former Beatle and a regenerated northern city have been recognised with a major tourism award.

Sir Paul McCartney and his native city of Liverpool were given the outstanding contribution to tourism prize in London on Wednesday.

The Enjoy England Awards for Excellence were given to 16 groups across the UK - in places including Norfolk, Yorkshire, Devon, Cumbria and the West Midlands.

The awards are organised by Visit Britain and the Caravan Club.

'Completely transformed'

Sir Paul said that he was honoured to receive the award.

"It's great to think that in some small way I've done something to help tourism for the place of my birth, which I'm so proud of," he said.

Hugh Taylor, England marketing advisory board chairman, said Sir Paul had done "great things" for his home city, which has seen visitor numbers more than double in the last five years.

"For many visitors, the emotional draw is that it is the home of the Beatles, and while Sir Paul modestly describes himself as 'just this kid from Liverpool', his influence on the success of Liverpool's tourism cannot be understated," he said.

Alnwick castle
Alnwick castle featured in the first two Harry Potter films

"He remains one of the most successful musicians and composers in popular music history," he added.

Previous winners of the Outstanding Contribution Award include Her Majesty the Queen, Judith Chalmers OBE, Harry Potter and Manchester United Football Club.

The awards, which celebrate the best of English tourism, are now in their 18th year.

The "Awards for Excellence" covered a number of categories.

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland and Brunel's SS Great Britain in the Great Western Dockyard at Bristol won the best large visitor attraction.

The castle featured as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films.

The best self-catering holiday of the year award went to Higher Wiscombe in Southleigh in Devon and Ashwall House in Bulmer, North Yorkshire.

The holiday cottages at Higher Wiscombe lie on the world heritage coastline not far from Branscombe where the MSC Napoli ran aground.

The 16 winners of the tourism Excellence Awards were:

  • Bed and Breakfast of the year - Number One, Blackpool
  • Best small hotel - Stanley House, Mellor, Lancashire
  • Best large hotel - The Chester Grosvenor and Spa, Chester
  • Best caravan holiday park - Skelwith Fold Caravan Park, Ambleside, Cumbria
  • Best self-catering holiday of the year - Higher Wiscombe in Southleigh, Devon, and Ashwall House in Bulmer, North Yorkshire
  • Best small visitor attraction - RAF Air Defence Radar Museum, Horning, Norfolk
  • Best large visitor attraction - Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, and Brunel's SS Great Britain in the Great Western Dockyard, Bristol
  • Taste of England award - The Star Inn & Perns of Helmsley, North Yorkshire
  • Business tourism award - Harrogate International Centre, North Yorkshire
  • Best tourism information centre - Northumberland National Park's Once Brewed Visitor Centre in Hexham and Towncentric centre in Gravesend, Kent
  • Best tourism website -, the website for the Barbican Centre in London
  • Outstanding customer service award - Graham Worton, keeper of geology at the Dudley Museum & Art Gallery in Dudley, West Midlands

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