VisitEngland has announced the latest winners of its Visitor Attraction Accolades for 2020 and 2021 recognising the outstanding visitor experiences on offer across the country.
The winners have been awarded Accolades based on the scores they gained in their annual Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme assessment by VisitEngland. With many attractions closed during the pandemic, the usual announcement in February 2021 has been postponed to October, with attractions assessed in 2020 and 2021 included.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “I’m so pleased to see our visitor attractions back in the spotlight with these accolades that recognise the amazing experiences available across the country. They also acknowledge the people who bring the attractions to life through their unparalleled customer service. They are the ones who make an attraction the most 'welcoming' and give life to the 'Best Told Story' whilst the quality of the attractions themselves are rewarded with 'Quality Food and Drink' and 'Hidden Gem' and of course 'Gold' for best all-rounders.
“Now more than ever we need these attractions to encourage and remind us to get out and explore the amazing tourism on offer across England, driving recovery and economic benefits through the regions.”
The 76 attractions are being recognised for the exceptional experiences they provide visitors from Welcome Accolade, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Quality Food and Drink and the Gold Accolade for all-round top-scoring attractions.
Introduced by VisitEngland in 2014, the Visitor Attraction Accolades are available to members of the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme who represent a wide range of tourism experiences across England, from museums and galleries, farm attractions, historic houses and gardens to churches, cathedrals and country parks. They are supported by a network of highly trained and experienced assessors who advise on improving and promoting the quality, accessibility and sustainability of their offer.
VisitBritain’s latest forecasts show that domestic tourism spending is estimated this year of £51.4 billion, just over half of the £91.6 billion in 2019. Last year alone saw about two-thirds of the value wiped off the domestic tourism industry in Britain, a £58 billion loss to the economy.