WEARSIDE attractions are vying for top spot in this year’s North East England Tourism Awards.
The annual event will see more than 40 businesses compete for a number of awards at the Stadium of Light ceremony.
Among those shortlisted from Sunderland and East Durham are Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa in the Small Hotel of the Year category and the National Glass Centre in the Best Tourism Experience category.
Seaham Hall is currently on the market for £5million, but continues to attract customers from across the country.
Meanwhile, the Washington Wetlands Centre and Durham University Botanic Garden are in the running for Small Visitor Attraction of the Year.
Wetlands Centre marketing manager Leanne McCormella said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award.
“The staff and volunteers are extremely committed and work tirelessly in the development of our centre and the unique visitor experience that it offers the people of the North East.
“We are proud to be part of the region’s tourism industry and this nomination reflects the continual progress we are making in bringing wildlife and people closer together for the benefit of both.”
The awards seek to reward individuals, businesses and attractions for their contributions to regional tourism.
Geoff Hodgson, chairman at the North East Tourism Advisory Board, said: “Recently, the Lonely Planet guidebook described our region as the ‘the most exciting, beautiful and friendly’ in the country.
“This was just one of many successes of the award-winning Passionate People, Passionate Places campaign that helped to bring North East England to national and international attention.
“The campaign was so successful because at its heart were the passionate people that will be celebrated in this year’s North East England Tourism Awards.”
Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for each of the categories will be revealed at a ceremony at the Stadium of Light on October 6.
LARGE HOTEL OF THE YEAR: Guisborough Hall Hotel, Tees Valley; Macdonald Linden Hall, Northumberland; Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort, Tees Valley
SMALL HOTEL OF THE YEAR: Doxford Hall Hotel, Northumberland; Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa, County Durham; Wynyard Hall Country House Hotel, Tees Valley
BED AND BREAKFAST OF THE YEAR: Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast, County Durham; Low Urpeth Farm Bed and Breakfast, County Durham; The Old Vicarage, Northumberland
SMALL VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR: Durham University Botanic Gardens, County Durham; Hall Hill Farm, County Durham; WWT Washington Wetlands Centre, Washington
LARGE VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; The Beamish Museum, County Durham; Vindolanda Fort and Museum, Northumberland
BUSINESS TOURISM AWARD: Event Durham, Durham University, County Durham; Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle; Sodexo Prestige, Tyne and Wear
TASTE OF THE NORTH EAST ENGLAND AWARD: Knitsley Farm Shop, County Durham; Oldfields Eating House, County Durham; Wheelbirks Parlour, Northumberland
OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD: William Salve of Macdonald Linden Hall Golf and Country Club, Northumberland; Kate Carnaby of Sodexo Prestige, Tyne and Wear; Kelly Smith of Wynyard Hall Country House Hotel, Tees Valley
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AWARD: Blackthorn Gate, Tees Valley; Killhope The North of England Lead Mining Museum, County Durham; St Cutherbert’s House, Northumberland
BEST TOURISM EXPERIENCE AWARD: Go Ape Matfen, Northumberland; National Glass Centre, Sunderland; Surfing in North Tyneside
TOURISM EVENT OF THE YEAR: Evolution Weekender, Tyne and Wear; Extraordinary Measures, Tyne and Wear; Tall Ships, Tees Valley
ACCESS FOR ALL AWARD: Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle; The Coach House, Northumberland; The Old Farmhouse, Northumberland
TOURISM INFORMATION CENTRE OF THE YEAR: Once Brewed Tourist Information, Northumberland; Rothbury Tourist Information Centre, Northumberland; Stanhope Tourist Information Centre, County Durham