THE SIXTY finalists of this year's Visit York Tourism Awards are being revealed today as the city's biggest industry awards celebrate a record crop of entries.

The awards, which are being held on June 21 at the National Railway Museum, shine a spotlight on excellence in tourism and reward outstanding service, innovation and quality.

A 500-strong audience from across York’s tourism sector is expected to attend the black-tie ceremony in the grand Station Hall after more than 130 submitted their entries.

A panel of independent judges will now review the shortlist of businesses from hotels to restaurants and pubs to visitor attractions to decide who will scoop one of the 17 award titles, through a mix of mystery shopping and rigorous analysis against the entry criteria.

Sally Greenaway, head of Visit York, said: "The standard of entries has been higher than ever this year.

"Now the mystery shopper visits start and businesses will need to demonstrate exceptional levels of customer service to win.

"We wish everyone the very best of luck and are excited to reveal the winners on June 21.”

Winners from the 17 categories, which include Visitor Attraction of the Year, Pub or Bar of the Year, Restaurant of the Year and Shopping Experience of the Year, will have the opportunity to go forward to the regional White Rose Awards and national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

This year sees the introduction of a new award category, the Wedding Venue of the Year award which shines the spotlight on York’s popularity as a place to tie the knot.

The awards will also crown a Tourism Champion of the Year, which is a surprise accolade announced on the night. Last year's Tourism Champion was named as Shanghai-raised businessman Will Zhuang who was singled out for the award in honour of his services promoting York to the city’s growing Chinese visitor market.

This year's Visit York Tourism Awards ceremony will be compered by Minster FM breakfast presenters Ben Fry and Roxanne Pallett.

So who are the Visit York Tourism Awards 2018 Finalists?

B&B or Guest House of the Year

Goldsborough Hall

No. 21 York

Tower Guest House

Café or Tearoom of the Year

The Balloon Tree Farmshop & Café

The Black Swan, Helmsley

The Garden Room at The Principal York

Conference Venue of the Year

Lakeside Conference Centre

The Principal York

York Racecourse

Family Friendly Experience of the Year

Explore York Library & Archive

The Web Adventure Park

York Maze

York Castle Museum - A Victorian Christmas

Guided Tour of the Year

Brewtown Tours

The Bloody Tour of York

Tours in a Dish

York Cycling Tours

Hotel of the Year

Doubletree by Hilton, York

Grays Court

The Grand Hotel & Spa, York

The Principal York

Newcomer of the Year

Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park

Fortyfive Vinyl Café

The Rise Restaurant, Terrace and Bar at The Grand Hotel & Spa, York

The Shop That Must Not Be Named

Valhalla York

Outstanding Customer Service

Nikki Hopwood (Raithwaite Hall)

Wayne Brady (The Grand Hotel & Spa, York)

Rhianna Thomson (Hilton York)

Anna Bialochleb (The Whippet Inn Steak & Alehouse)

Pub or Bar of the Year

The Blue Bell

Chapter House York

The Whippet Inn Steak & Alehouse

Walmgate Ale House

Restaurant of the Year

Ambiente Tapas Fossgate

The Gallery at The Black Swan

Hudsons by Craig Atchinson at The Grand Hotel & Spa

The Whippet Inn Steak & Alehouse

Walmgate Ale House

Self-catering Venue of the Year

Goodramgate Apartments

Studford Luxury Lodges

The Dovecote Barns

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges & Snug Huts

Shopping Experience of the Year


Cuffs & Co

Rafi’s Spicebox

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Over 50,000 Visitors)

City Cruises York

JORVIK Viking Centre

Yorkshire Museum

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Under 50,000 Visitors)

Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park

Barley Hall

National Centre for Birds of Prey

York Army Museum

Visitor Experience of the Year

Hallowscream at York Maze

The Bloody Tour of York

York Racecourse

Wedding Venue of the Year

National Centre for Early Music

National Railway Museum

The Amazing Wedding Company at York Maze

York Racecourse

Tourism Champion

To be announced at the awards ceremony