The Ribble Valley stars of tourism were out in force for a special celebratory event hosted at Gibbon Bridge Hotel, Chipping.
The Ribble Valley Tourism Association organised the awards, which are an opportunity to celebrate the success of local tourism enterprises such as restaurants, hotels and attractions.
They also provide the chance to reward the special efforts of individuals in making visitors and guests welcome into the area.
The awards are unique in that anyone may make nominations, and this year businesses nominated themselves, their staff, and indeed, each other. The public were also invited to make nominations via social media, as the RVTA searched for the stars of tourism of the past 12 months in the Ribble Valley. An independent panel considered a large number of submissions, and selected those who they believed to be the most deserving winners.
The awards are not necessarily designed to determine the “best of”, but more to recognise achievement, innovation, quality design, creativity and, most of all people. They consider people both as individuals and as teams, as it is the people that work so hard to make visitors welcome and make tourism in the Ribble Valley so special.
RVTA chairman Amanda Dowson said: “The awards are a chance to celebrate the people and businesses involved in providing the wonderful tourism offering of our borough. We love to celebrate the success of some of our most deserving businesses.”
Awards coordinator, tourism officer Tom Pridmore, said: “Tourism in the Ribble Valley has had a fantastic 12 months and these awards reflect that success. Once more we have had a tremendous response in terms of the nominations and some extremely deserving winners have been recognised.”
The awards this year were presented by Edwin Booth, chairman of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and chairman of F.H. Booths and co. Ltd who praised the achievements of the winners.
The stars this year are:
Transformational Tourism - Holmes Mill.
Creative Tourism - Latitude.
Family Friendly Tourism - Mrs Dowson’s Farm Park.
Creative Marketing - John Flanagan, Jazz and Blues.
Quality Tourism - Millstone Mellor.
Creativity in Food and Hospitality - Gibbon Bridge Hotel.
Team Excellence in customer service - Aspinall Arms.
Team Excellence and innovation - Spread Eagle Sawley.
Team Spirit - Dream Weddings, James Places.
New Event of the Year - Create Longridge.
Event of the Year - Ribfest music festival.
Website of the year - Browsholme Hall.
Unsung Heroes - David Bamber, Stanley House; Robert Lowe, Gibbon Bridge; David Piff, Mitton Hall; Nick Bristow, Eaves Hall.
Excellence in customer service - Catherine Turner, Browsholme; Nina Rubin, Mitton Hall.
Tourism Heroes - Mike and Paula Fairburn, Bowland Cottage.
RVTA is a non-profit organisation created for the benefit of promoting tourism.