Coventry and Warwickshire’s rising popularity as a tourist destination will be celebrated at a new awards event.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Quidem, the owners of Touch FM, Rugby FM and Oak FM, to deliver the Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism Awards, with the first ceremony taking place at the Ricoh Arena in March 2015.
The full list of categories are yet to be confirmed but are expected to include ‘best visitor attraction’, ‘best hotel’ and ‘best bar/restaurant’ among others.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said recent figures on the region’s pull as a tourism destination meant it was the perfect time to launch the awards.
She said: “We are delighted to be working with Touch FM and its sister stations. They deliver several awards evenings around the region and they have proved to be extremely popular and successful.
“We have been discussing the possibility of a ceremony to honour our wonderful tourism industry, which was highlighted by recent statistics from Visit England that said visits to places such as Coventry and Stratford are on the rise.
“This event will be designed to capture all of the elements that make Coventry and Warwickshire such a great place to visit – from attractions to individuals.”
Steve Orchard, CEO of Quidem – the company behind Touch FM, said: “Shining a big spotlight on the region’s achievers is something we love to do and we’ve enjoyed great acclaim for our successful awards series.
“The local area is packed full of marvellous visitor attractions and world class tourism assets and we are going to celebrate them in style. Along with our partners at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce we’re ready to blow this region’s trumpet!”
Councillor Kevin Maton, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our great city and county will celebrate its tourism and leisure industry in this way. The tourism and hospitality sector supports the employment of thousands of people in Coventry and Warwickshire and has the potential to provide hundreds more jobs in the future.
“This is a great place to visit and we should be very proud to shout about the people, organisations and businesses that it such a special place for residents and visitors.”
Councillor Izzi Seccombe, Warwickshire County Council leader, said: "Our arts, culture, heritage and leisure destinations create a vibrant tourism economy that is the envy of many. More than 23.5 million day and night trips are taken in Coventry and Warwickshire annually and we should celebrate the popularity of our region.”
Jonathan Browning, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The CWLEP is committed to supporting industries which boost the local economy and the world-class cultural activities that we have in Coventry and Warwickshire is a major factor in attracting visitors to our area.
“These awards are a great opportunity to showcase the diverse and exciting leisure-related facilities that we have in Coventry and Warwickshire as well as build on the success of the sector in attracting visitors from across the globe.”
Further details on the Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism Awards will be announced shortly.