Domestic tourism businesses honoured at Staycation Awards

The best domestic travel and tourism businesses have been honoured in a new ‘Staycation Awards’ hosted by the i newspaper.

The awards were presented in a virtual ceremony watched by as many as 60,000 people and hosted by Countryfile presenter Sean Fletcher.

Categories covered the range of domestic tourism product, including independent B&Bs, historic pubs, self-catering properties and accommodation that showcases the UK’s wilderness, with more than 1,000 entries and nominations.

Holiday park operator Shorefield Holidays was presented with a special Tourism Hero award for its response to the pandemic, providing free accommodation for frontline workers, laptops to local schools and food bank donations.

Sophie Lam, editor of itravel, said: “The pandemic has presented tourism businesses and locations with extraordinary challenges, but the finalists demonstrated how many in the industry have turned difficulty into an opportunity to support and help their local community.”

The winners were decided by a panel of 23 judges from organisations including Ramblers, the Woodland Trust, Which?, Cool Camping, Sustrans, and the Active Travel Board for Wales.

The judging panels based their decisions on factors including Covid response and the commitment to sustainability, inclusivity and accessibility.

The event was headline sponsored by holidaycottages.co.uk. Jayne McClure, chief executive of parent company The Travel Chapter, said: “We are proud to sponsor the itravel Staycation Awards this year and to help showcase the incredible people and places throughout the domestic tourism industry.

“We hope the awards will inspire many happy holidays enjoying the best the UK has to offer this summer, as we enjoy a fantastic season of staycations.”

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