A FINAL call has gone out for entries to the Visit York Tourism Awards.

Businesses across the city, from hotels to restaurants, pubs to visitor attractions, are being urged to enter the 2020 awards by the closing date on Monday, January 6.

They aim to celebrate businesses and individuals in the tourism industry that deliver amazing experiences for visitors.

The event, on Thursday, April 23, with LNER as a headline sponsor, shines a spotlight on excellence and innovation and offers eligible winners across a number of categories the chance to be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020.

Paul Whiting, head of marketing and communications at Visit York, said: “There are a wide range of categories for local businesses to enter this year - with the awards aiming to celebrate their successes and recognise all the hard work that goes into providing first class visitor experiences.

"With the winners of many categories automatically going on to the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence there is also the opportunity for additional exposure and recognition on a national scale. We would love to see entries from a wide array of businesses and we are looking forward to celebrating with all the finalists in April.”

A panel of independent judges will choose the final shortlist and select the winners through mystery shopping and rigorous analysis against the entry criteria.

Businesses must enter at www.visityork.org/awards by 5pm on Monday, January 6.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the National Railway Museum, compered by town crier Ben Fry.

The 17 award categories for 2019 are: Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award, B&B or Guest House of the Year, Business Events Venue of the Year, Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year, Experience of the Year, Event of the Year*, International Tourism Award, Large Hotel of the Year, Large Attraction of the Year, New Tourism Business of the Year, Pub of the Year, Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year, Shop of the Year*, Small Hotel of the Year, Small Attraction of the Year, Taste of York Award and Tourism Champion of the Year*.

New categories for 2020 include the International Tourism Award which celebrates businesses who create amazing experiences for international visitors, Experience of the Year, and Event of the Year which reward memorable and immersive activities and events and the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award which celebrates businesses that provide the best experiences for visitors with accessibility requirements.