Visit Lancashire heads outdoors…

outdoor show at NEC 2010For the fifth year running Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (LBTB) headed down to the NEC Birmingham for the annual 3 day extravaganza that is the Outdoor Show from 26-28 March.

Our stand not only featured lots of stunning photography of Lancashire’s scenery and outdoor activities but we also had a cycle simulator on the stand so that visitors could do a timed 1.89 km cycle trial (with hills) – something that appealed to the competitive streaks in both the young and old! We had queues for most of day and this was a great opportunity to talk to people about Lancashire and to get them to enter our prize draw to win a cycle break in Lancashire (Thanks to The Priory in Scorton and Cycle Adventure who kindly provided the prize). After three days competition entries exceeded 2,000 – we are still counting them!

We also gave out lots of walking trails and cycle maps, as well as copies of the Country Escapes magazine and the Countryside Collection, and our recycled ‘visit Lancashire’ pens also provided a good talking point.

Sally

Attention All Hotels!

From the makers of Channel 4’s groundbreaking documentary series ‘The Family’ and ‘One Born Every Minute’ comes a brand new series – ‘The Hotel’ Dragonfly Film & Television are looking for a small/medium independently run hotel in Britain to be the focal point of an exciting new series.

This will be a unique opportunity for one hotel as life behind the scenes is captured for a month on film.

They would like a vibrant hotel with warm and humorous staff which caters for regular customers, summer trade and functions such as birthday parties, weddings or wakes.  The series will give a heart-warming insight into life in 21st century Britain.

If you think that you could be The Hotel, please download the form here and e-mail it to thehotel@dragonfly.tv with or call 0207 033 2301 for more information.

FREE Business Advice Days – date for your diary

Running a business involves a myriad of legislation – not all of it easy to understand.

– Do you want to employ staff but are not sure where to start?
– How does VAT on tourism and leisure businesses differ?
– Do you need access to new finance or a review of your current finances?

HM Revenue and Customs are holding a FREE Business Advice Open Day at the Hilton Hotel, Blackpool on Wednesday 19th May.

Click here for further details and to book.

Diane Blakemore

BIBA’s: And the winners are…

BIBAs 2010Tourism Businesses stole the show at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBA’s) 2010 – the one they all want to win – held on Friday night (12 March) at the Pleasure Beach’s Globe Theatre.  This year’s awards attracted over 927 entries (including 87 Finalists) from some of Lancashire’s top performing companies.  At a glitzy evening attended by over 900 guests 4 out of 16 awards where handed over to tourism businesses.

The Sandcastle Waterpark walked off with two of the gold trophies for being voted the Leadership Team and Excellence in Customer Service for their ‘guest service’ standards.  Sunset Park in Hambleton, owned by Tourist Board Director, Michael Taylor were given the Green Business award for its sustainability practices.  Estelle Livesey, the Beach House’s proprietor, receiving a Highly Commended in the Business Woman of the Year category.

Mike Wilkinson & Darren WebsterHowever, the Tourism Business of the Year – a category sponsored by the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board – the first time this award had been introduced to the BIBA’s – went to Blackpool Zoo for its outstanding business achievement.  In a really keen fought category they piped 5 other of the County’s top quality tourism businesses, these being the Hilton Hotel Blackpool, who received a highly commended, Number One Hotels, Beach HouseSunset Park  and Sandcastle Waterpark

Handing over the award, Mike Wilkinson the Tourist Board’s Chief Executive is pictured here presenting the Tourism Business of the Year award to Darren Webster, Blackpool Zoo’s Director.                                                     

Mike Wilkinson

Quality in Tourism Online Application Tool- now live!

Good news! Quality in Tourism has now launched an online application tool at www.qualityintourism.com, which will make the accreditation application process easier and quicker for many.

The online application tool is available for our major product types and accessed via each individual scheme page:-

• Hotel
• Self Catering
• Guest Accommodation
• Serviced Appartments
• Parks
• Holiday Villages
• Hostels
• Individual Caravans
• Chalets
They will not be taking payment online.  This is because they want to offer participants the greatest flexibility in making a payment so this could be by BACS, Cheque, Credit Card, Direct Debit (5% Discount available for DD customers) or a mixture.
From 1st April 2010,  new Applicants will also be able to pay their participation/annual fee in two instalments if choosing Direct Debit.
** Please be aware that we (the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board)  are giving a 50% introductory / year one grant to establishments who have never been accredited before. The online system won’t be able to handle the grant process. Please click here for more information and to download an application form.
Amy Colgan

New money for Old

Heritage Tourism scheme calling …….any North West historic attractions interested in applying for grant aid in 2010-2011?

To be in the field; part of the collection…… expressions of interest are needed by 9th April.

Rummage around here for more information

Maggie Bond

Are you one of Ramsay’s best?

Following on from the success of last year’s search on The F Word, Gordon is on the hunt for the best restaurants of 2010 – restaurants run by people with a passion for food who deliver great food, great service and a great atmosphere. Is this you?

Here’s how to nominate

To nominate your restaurant all you have to do is go to the Best Restaurant Nomination Form and follow the instructions.

Things to bear in mind

1. The restaurant must be independently owned – definitely no major chains.

2. The preference is to discover restaurants who have not received the acclaim they may deserve. However we may still consider restaurants who have received major awards, such as Michelin stars or AA Rosettes.

The nomination process is very simple. All you have to do is fill in the boxes as they pop up on your screen. We’ll ask you to provide details of the restaurant you’d like to nominate, provide some information about yourself and answer some questions about the restaurant you’d like to nominate.

For full details of the nomination criteria please see Best Restaurant Nomination Criteria.

What happens after nomination?

At the end of the nomination period  all the restaurants nominated will be assessed according to the Judging Criteria. The best restaurants in each category may be featured on-screen in a future Channel 4 series.

get cracking.

Sarah Lundy