Why tourism awards matter?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Newcastle's  former tourist infomation centre in the Grand Arcade

Newcastle’s former tourist infomation centre in the Grand Arcade

This is the month for tourism awards. More than a dozen areas of the UK hold their annual bash during November.

And we try to cover them all. Why? Because customer service and information awards are rewarding those that we feel are most important to the visitor. All organisations in travel and tourism should provide the best possible customer service and by, recording the fact, visitors and readers will know where that extra effort has been made.

There seem to be fewer tourist information centres around and even fewer that can be found. Some hide in side streets and some are located in other buildings like theatres, shops and museums. Yet the people that volunteer and work in them (more volunteers than paid employees seems to be the trend) know more about the local area than almost anyone else. They know what is interesting, which accommodation providers are the ones to try and book with and when the current deals and where to eat, something that guide books tend to bad about because eateries come and go with astonishing speed. Without that local knowledge, a visit could be uninteresting; with it a visit could be memorable.

Just about Travel concentrates on these two aspects of the awards. By mentioning all the others – excepting business or convention tourism awards – readers have a guide, the sort of guide that review sites do not give. The likes of TripAdvisor may give reviews of restaurants and hotels, B&B’s and teashops but they don’t cover attractions, historic sites, retailers and customer service.

But like reviews sites, awards should be treated with caution. Some entrants lobby hard for votes, in some categories there are few entrants and in some cases, it seems odd that sponsors of awards win others. But what else is there to go on?

At least there are far more awards than there were twenty years ago. Now they cover most parts of the country from the Highlands of Scotland to Cornwall and from Northern Ireland to Suffolk. That is why you are seeing so many stories about awards at the moment and there are more to come. To help you make a choice.

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