The long-awaited shortlist has been revealed for this year’s White Rose Awards to honour the very best of Yorkshire tourism.
More than 100 businesses have made the shortlist across 17 separate categories, from the best Yorkshire pub to holiday parks and self-catering cottages.
The awards, the biggest in the business, aim to recognise the best of what the industry has to offer in Yorkshire, from the smallest B&B to hugely popular visitor attractions.
“Yorkshire’s tourism is a remarkable sector with fantastic hospitality, facilities and produce on offer,” said Colin Mellors, the chairman of the White Rose Award judges.
“Those shortlisted should feel very proud to have been selected against such strong competition.
“Choosing the eventual winners this year will be a really tough task.”
Among the nominees include Shibden Mill Inn (Inns & Restaurants with Rooms): Holdsworth House, Holmfield (Large Hotel): Elmet Farmhouse, Hebden Bridge (Self catering): Keelham Farm near Queensbury (Taste of Yorkshire):
Hebden Bridge Visitor Centre (Visitor Information): Hebden Bridge Arts Festival (Yorkshire Events).
Many hundreds of people will attend a sparkling ceremony later this year to find out which of the finalists listed has won a coveted prize.
Sir Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Once again the entries have been exceptional across all categories, so a huge congratulations to those who have made the shortlist.
“As the largest celebration of tourism in the UK, the White Rose Awards are a fitting tribute to Yorkshire’s fantastically diverse businesses that work tirelessly to help to make the county number one.”
History was made last year when more than 1,000 people watched Take That singer, Gary Barlow, and the co-writer of The Girls musical, Tim Firth, made honorary Yorkshiremen during the ceremony at the First Direct arena in Leeds.
Guests at the awards ceremony included Lizzie Jones, the widow of former Halifax RLFC star Danny Jones, who opened the show, the original Calendar Girls, Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos players as well as stars from the Emmerdale series.
Tourism in Yorkshire is worth about £7bn to the local economy and the county’s industry is believed to employ almost a quarter-of-a-million people across the region.
The White Rose Awards are the biggest tourism event of its kind in the UK today, organisers say, and it does mean a tremendous amount to an independent business to take home one of the highly coveted prizes.
“For us, it was the ultimate accomplishment,” said Charlotte Shaw, the director of Lottie Shaw’s bakery in Elland which won the Taste of Yorkshire award that was sponsored by The Yorkshire Post last year.
“We were delighted to win it. We’re a Yorkshire brand.
“It helped build customer confidence in our products.
“I think it’s one of the most recognised awards there is - so many of our customers are Welcome to Yorkshire members.
“Yorkshire itself has become a brand. To have Welcome to Yorkshire endorsing our brand, and what we stand for, is one of our biggest achievements.”