Tourism businesses from across Wrexham were celebrating last night after the fourth annual This Is Wrexham Tourism Awards.
Held at Coleg Cambria, the awards are designed to celebrate those individuals and businesses who contribute significantly towards the rapid growth in Wrexham County’s tourism industry. Last year alone the value of tourism locally was worth £116m to the economy and expected to grow further when results are announced next month.
The awards were this year hosted by the This Is Wrexham Tourism Partnership, in association with the Hospitality and Catering department at Coleg Cambria, who were able to use the event to provide students with vital experience of delivering a large function.
Big winners on the evening included FOCUS Wales who took home best large event, and the Wrexham Council events team for their annual drive-in cinemas. T
he Holt Lodge Hotel took home the best large accommodation award, whilst the Machine House in Rossett were awarded the title of best restaurant after gaining two AA rosettes and a Michelin Guide entry this year.
Sarah Baker, owner of Lot 11 coffee shop in Wrexham accepted the ‘Rising Star in Tourism Award’ with the café also winning an award for their commitment to local produce.
The team behind King Street Coffee took home Best Cafe, with The Bank claiming the title of best pub / wine bar.
One highlight of the evening was Sarah & John Brookshaw taking home the ‘outstanding commitment to tourism’ award following their ongoing growth, investment and high-quality offer at the Plassey Holiday Park in Eyton.
Speaking about the evening, Joe Bickerton, destination manager at Wrexham County Borough Council said: “Each year, the competition for these awards gets more fierce as quality and investment in our tourism sector grows all the time.
“Along with the rapid growth of local tourism across the County, this year has seen leading businesses come together to form the This Is Wrexham Tourism Partnership, launch a new website and discount card to generate more income to complement the work that we do as a Local Authority.
“This is a flagship project for others in Wales to follow, and has further shown the desire of our tourism businesses to work together to make this area flourish.
“Going forward into 2018, Wrexham will only receive a further boost with new and bigger events, a new food festival led by the This Is Wrexham Team and of course new facilities such as Tŷ Pawb and visitor improvements at key sites such as the Trevor Basin.”
Guest speaker on the evening Jim Jones, MD at North Wales Tourism added: “Tourism operators and the Local Authority here in Wrexham County continue to impress and play their part in the growth of North Wales as a global visitor destination.
“The new signage on the A483 creates a great first impression as you enter the County now and I’m so impressed by the enterprise and investment shown by many new and existing tourism operators here.
“Coleg Cambria has offered us a wonderful environment in which to celebrate this evening and I offer my congratulations to every business shortlisted.”
The full list of winners on the evening were;
Best Small Accommodation Provider: The Lemon Tree, Wrexham
Best Large Accommodation Provider: The Holt Lodge
Best Self Catering Provider: The Plassey Holiday Park
Best Tourism Attraction: Chirk Castle
Best Restaurant: The Machine House, Rossett
Best Cafe / Coffee Shop: King Street Coffee
Best Pub / Wine Bar: The Bank Wine Bar
Best Use of Local Produce: Lot 11 Cafe
Best Use of Social Media: The Fat Boar
Rising Star in Local Tourism Award: Sarah Baker, Lot 11 Cafe
Award for Best Customer Service: Natalie Jones, Apollo Taxis
Best Small Event (under 2000 attendees): Wrexham’s Drive In Cinemas / Wrexham Council’s Events Team
Best Large Event (Over 2000 attendees) FOCUS Wales
Outstanding Commitment to Local Tourism: Sarah & John Brookshaw – The Plassey Holiday Park