WEARSIDE tourism businesses are being invited to enter this year’s North East England Tourism Awards.
The awards will see pubs, hotels and attractions going for gold in the competition which lists Sunderland AFC as a previous winner.
Sunderland AFC’s commercial director Gary Hutchinson said: “I would encourage any company in the North East to take part and help their business grow.
“Winning a North East Tourism Award in 2009 was a great achievement for everybody involved at the club and we have worked hard to maintain a high standard of quality service since then.”
The football club won gold in the Business Tourism category, going on to stage the event last year.
“We had the opportunity to host the awards last year and it was great to see so many businesses looking to boost tourism in the North East,” added Gary.
The awards, which were founded in 2003, had been in doubt after regional development agency One NorthEast was scrapped.
But the NewcastleGateshead Initiative has now stepped in to organise the event, in partnership with Northumberland County Council.
NewcastleGateshead Initiative chief executive Sarah Stewartsaid: “After speaking with local businesses, it quickly became apparent to us that the enthusiasm from the tourism industry locally for awards meant that they simply must go ahead.
“They are a valuable way of recognising the achievements and quality of tourism on offer in the North East.
“We have worked with colleagues across the region to ensure that the North East wouldn’t miss out on the awards that feed into the VisitEngland awards annually.”
Other previous winners include Beamish Museum, Great North Museum and Hartlepool Maritime Experience.
There are 14 categories to compete in this year.
Businesses interested in applying should visit www.NorthEastTourismAwards.com.