Harrogate Hospitality and Tourism Awards 2018: Entries pour in ahead of prestigious ceremony

Awards organisers from Destination Harrogate David Ritson (right), and Simon Cotton (left) enjoy toasting St Patrick the patron saint of Ireland with Marcus Black (Centre) from Slingsby (s).
Awards organisers from Destination Harrogate David Ritson (right), and Simon Cotton (left) enjoy toasting St Patrick the patron saint of Ireland with Marcus Black (Centre) from Slingsby (s).

Organisers and sponsors of the town’s Hospitality and Tourism Awards are delighted with the response to the 2018 awards and celebrated with a drop of the ‘black stuff’ on St. Patricks Day.

With less than a month to go before voting closes awards organisers David Ritson and Simon Cotton said they are on track to repeat a similar response this year.

Mr Ritson said: "We are expecting the usual strong response to the Bar person, Waiter/Waitress, Team and Chef awards however we would urge people to consider the Best Achievement, Unsung Hero and Outstanding Customer Service categories as opportunities to reward deserving nominees.”

He continued: “The stories we read in these categories are always amazing, people and businesses that have done incredible things, generating extra business, promoting Harrogate with international festivals, setting up new concepts that showcase the region to visitors and even saving a life! All have featured in these categories”.

Mr Cotton said: “For the Best Achievement award the types of nominations we’re looking for can be either an individual or business that has made significant positive change to enhance the customer experience, or have grown their business against market expectations and conditions. Being from any sector related to business or leisure tourism, the overall winner’s achievement will clearly set them apart from their colleagues and/or competitors”.

“An Unsung Hero is just that; making any guest or visitor experience a special and memorable one usually takes many people in varying positions and organisations to pull together to make it happen; however there are often those who play more than their own part in this and yet receive little or no recognition. Our Unsung Hero award is for just those people!”

Mr Ritson concluded: “The final award in this section is Outstanding Customer Service; we are looking for evidence of an individual who consistently delivers high quality customer service that goes above and beyond the norm, motivating those around them and delighting the guest”.

Sponsors of the Best Achievement award David Goodhall, General Manager of Blueline Taxis said: “We are delighted to support the Harrogate Hospitality & Tourism Awards as our company certainly recognises the importance of this great industry to Harrogate as it makes up a very large part of our turnover in terms of conference delegates coming to the town, and tourists in general needing taxis. We have built the success of our business on excellent customer service and by always aiming to achieve more than our competitors so it’s a perfect match for us to be involved in this category”.

Bidfood sponsor the Unsung Hero award and Gillian Crawford, Head of Free Trade Sales said: “Unsung Heroes make the hospitality and tourism business work, they are behind the scenes often working unsocial hours or in difficult conditions ‘getting their hands dirty’ to make the front of house operation appear seamless. People who wash the dishes, make the beds, tend the gardens, sweep the streets, fix machines and technology, work studiously in accounts offices, making plans and organising events are critical to any successful business or initiative. We appreciate how hard these people work and are delighted to sponsor and judge this category”.

Completing the judge’s huddle, Marcus Black Managing Director of Slingsby said: “These awards are brilliant, Destination Harrogate does a great job and I love reading the testimonials outlining the Outstanding Customer Service nominees. At Slingsby we understand that we need to provide excellent service to visitors to the region; our product reflects the excellent quality brand - Harrogate; it’s in our company DNA and we love being based in ‘happy’ Harrogate! I urge you to submit those nominations as soon as possible”.

There are eleven awards categories in total and finalists for each award will be invited to an amazing gala awards dinner to be held at the stunning Royal Hall on Monday 4th June 2018.

If you know a business or an individual worthy of nomination, all you have to do is complete the nomination form online at www.destinationharrogate.co.uk, or fill-in an application form which you’ll find across town in restaurants, hotels, bars and other public places. These can be handed in at the tourist information centre on Crescent Gardens.

To attended the awards dinner and support your nominations visit the website for details, or call Linda Bradley on 01423 858585.