Dozens of businesses from across the region have been named on the eagerly-awaited final shortlist of the prestigious White Rose Awards.
And The Yorkshire Post can today reveal each and every one of the contenders across 17 categories - as Welcome to Yorkshire prepares to honour the very best of the county’s thriving tourism industry.
The awards are the biggest celebration of tourism in the UK and see awards presented for everything from the best hotels and holiday parks, to pubs, food and drink producers and art attractions.
Colin Mellors, chairman of the White Rose Award judges, said: “Yorkshire’s tourism businesses are truly exceptional - bringing large numbers of visitors and income to the region and enhancing our reputation at home and abroad.
“The sector goes from strength to strength and many of its established stars feature on this year’s White Rose shortlist alongside some welcome new additions. What they have in common is their firm commitment to ensuring guests enjoy unrivalled hospitality, produce, facilities and experiences. The fantastic scenery and heritage provide the icing on the cake.
“With so many strong entries, shortlisting was very difficult this year. Choosing the eventual winners is going to be really tough.”
A thousand people will attend a glitzy award ceremony later this year when the winners and runners up will be announced.
Last year’s winners included the long-awaited return to the tracks of Flying Scotsman which was named Tourism Event of the Year.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, agreed that picking out the winners this year will be tough.
“The quality of this year’s entries has been exceptional and makes me feel hugely proud of all the brilliant work going on in tourism in the county,” Sir Gary said.
“It’s an honour to be part of these awards that recognise the many businesses and organisations that make Yorkshire such an amazing destination. I extend my thanks to everyone who took the time to enter and huge congratulations to those who have made the shortlist.”
The finale of the 2016 awards took place at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Yorkshire Event Centre and the Harrogate venue is vying for the Business Tourism Award category this time round.
In a real coup for the Society, three more of its businesses have made the shortlist - its food hall and café Fodder, Harrogate Caravan Park and the Great Yorkshire Show, the country’s premier agricultural show which returns next month on July 11-13. Profits from all the ventures fund the Society’s charitable work.
Nigel Pulling, the Society’s chief executive, said: “To make the final shortlist is an achievement in itself and testament to the hard work of our teams.”
Fittingly in Hull’s UK City of Culture year, Hull Truck Theatre is a contender for the Arts & Culture Award.
Mark Babych, the theatre’s artistic director, said: “The Arts and Culture category reflects such a diverse range of fantastic regional arts organisations and we’re really proud to be amongst them. The staff at Hull Truck Theatre are working so hard to make Hull’s year in the spotlight a success, not just for the theatre but for the city of Hull, whose confidence, ambition and joy is now being recognised across the country.”
Another eye-catching feature of the shortlist is in the Pub of the Year section, where four of the six shortlisted are pubs in York.