Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 21:56 UK

Yorkshire savours tourism success

Yorkshire Dales
Yorkshire's rich landscape proves one of its strongest visitor attractions

The very best venues and ventures among Yorkshire's multi-million pound tourism industry have been honoured at the annual awards ceremony in Bridlington.

Along with traditional categories, the York-based huntfun website scooped tourism experience of the year for its downloadable treasure hunts.

John Heaps at the Magna Science Centre in South Yorkshire won the customer service award.

Hull's The Deep sea attraction netted the sustainable tourism trophy.

Almost 250,000 people are employed in tourism across the region in an industry worth 6.1bn to the county's economy.

And in an effort to keep Yorkshire's diverse landscape and rich heritage at the forefront of visitors' minds, tourism chiefs are already looking to the future.

To achieve a White Rose Award is a great honour that is recognised by tourism partners and visitors alike
Tourism chief, David Andrews

The region's tourist board has already set its focus on cashing in on the 2012 Olympic Games which are being staged in London.

With a global audience looking to the UK, tourism chiefs want to capitalise on Yorkshire's landscape and heritage as a way of drawing visitors to the county.

But on Thursday evening, such pipeline plans gave way to the successes of this year as Ackroyd House bed and breakfast - sitting in Last of the Summer Wine country - picked up the Best Newcomer to Tourism Award, seeing off stiff competition from a raft of establishments in North Yorkshire.

The judges thought that Rudding Park, on the outskirts of Harrogate, had the best website while the Pipe and Glass Inn at South Dalton, near Beverley, sampled success in the Taste of Yorkshire category.

Recipe for success

Yorkshire Tourist Board chief executive David Andrews said making the decisions through each category had been a tough task.

"We have had a tremendous amount of high quality entries - so much so that the independent judging panel had a very difficult task deciding who the winners would be.

"To achieve a White Rose Award is a great honour that is recognised by tourism partners and visitors alike."

The Novotel Sheffield Centre secured the accolade in the Access for All award section and Wakefield's Tourism Information Centre pipped some well-known and popular towns to the title of Tourist Information Centre.

The regal Queens Hotel in Leeds was named as the Business Tourism Award winner while the Durham Ox at Crayke, near Easingwold, was named Pub of the Year.

Low Penhowe guest house at Burythorpe, near Malton was named as the Guest Accommodation of the Year winner and Noelles Cottages at Pickering had the recipe for success as the self-catering holiday venue.

Far Grange Park at Skipsea was picked as the Caravan Holiday Park of the Year, with the Dean Court Hotel in York named as the Hotel of the Year for places with up to 50 bedrooms.

Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa on the eastern fringes of Leeds took the top slot for hotels with more than 35 bedrooms.

Wentworth Castle Gardens and Stainborough Park were picked as the Visitor Attraction of the Year in the category of sites with less than 50,000 visitors, while Harewood House between Leeds and Harrogate won out in the section for more than 50,000 visitors.

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