There’s still time to enter the inaugural Mid Wales Tourism Awards but businesses, organisations and individuals need to get their skates on, as the July 31 deadline is fast approaching.
The biennial awards are designed to celebrate and showcase the region’s exceptional tourism industry. There are 16 categories for businesses and individuals and entry forms may be downloaded from the awards website at https://www.midwalestourismawards.co.uk/
Category finalists will be announced on September 9 and the winners will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony at The Hafren, Newtown on October 17. Compere for the evening will be Welsh tourism personality Jonathan Jones, CBE.
The awards are being organised by MWT Cymru with support from Mid Wales Regional Tourism Forum, a public and sector partnership and Visit Wales, the Welsh Government’s tourism arm.
The categories are: Best Hotel, Best B&B, Best Guest Accommodation, Restaurant with Rooms or Inn, Best Self Catering, Best Camping or Touring Park, Best Holiday Park or Holiday Home Park, Best Glamping/ Quirky Accommodation, Best Accommodation for Groups, Best Activity or Experience, Best Visitor Attraction, Best Event, Best Place to Eat or Drink, Best Restaurant, Best Third Sector Award, Tourism Business Innovation Award and Young Tourism Person of the Year.
Members of the public may nominate for the Young Tourism Person of the Year Award, but all other categories must be entered directly by the business or organisation.
The Young Tourism Person of the Year category is designed to recognise young entrepreneurial, professional and business talents aged 30 years and under in the tourism sector. Entrants may self-nominate.
Here are a few of the other categories in more detail.
The Best Place to Eat/Drink Award is open to smaller businesses, such as bistros, cafes, tea rooms, small restaurants, pubs, wineries or breweries. If serving food, the business will require a minimum of a four-star hygiene rating to be considered. The award recognises a business that offers a unique and memorable experience to visitors and provides excellent service.
The Best Hotel Award recognise the many top quality hotels in Mid Wales while the Best Visitor Attraction is open to any business which offers a natural or built location that is open to visitors for more than seven months of the year.
The Best Guest Accommodation, Restaurant with Rooms or Inn category is open to guest accommodation with six or more bedrooms and/or provides evening meals. There is no minimum or maximum number of rooms criterion for restaurants with rooms and inns.
The Best Camping or Touring Park category recognises tourism excellence for camping and touring parks, for which Mid Wales is renowned. The award is for businesses that provide for touring caravans, motorhomes and camping.
The Best for Groups (Accommodation) category welcomes entries from any business that offers group accommodation or exclusive hire for groups of 10 or more people. This could include hotels, bunk barns, large catering properties, historic houses, campus accommodation and exclusive hire hotels, to name but a few possible business types.
Award winners and finalists may be selected to represent the region at the Wales National Tourism Awards in March 2020.
Granted an Awards Trust Mark by the Independent Awards Standards Council, the awards are open to all businesses, organisations and individuals who contribute to tourism within Mid Wales. As part of the scoring, judges will be looking for entries that support the region both through their marketing and a range of activities.
Exclusive headline and category sponsorship opportunities are available to businesses wishing to raise their profile and show their support for the tourism sector in Mid Wales.
Already signed up as sponsors are Cambrian Training Company, Grŵp Colegau NPTC Group of Colleges, Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, Busnes Cymdeithasol Cymru/ Social Business Wales, Cambrian News, County Times and Express and Gazette, Mid Wales Journal and NFU Mutual.
MWT Cymru is the regional destination marketing and membership organisation for Powys, Ceredigion and Meirionnydd district of Southern Snowdonia. As a not-for-profit social enterprise company, MWT Cymru supports and represents more than 550 tourism businesses and organisations across the region.
A dedicated Tourism Awards Advisory Group, established specifically to assist with the awards, includes representatives from Visit Wales, Ceredigion County Council, Powys County Council and others.