Canterbury BID won the Lasting Impression Award for the Canterbury Medieval Pageant at the Go To Places Awards at the Drury Lane Theatre in London. This award was based on a public vote for the event that made the best ‘lasting impression’ on people and made them value a place even more. In only it’s second year, for the Pageant to have achieved such a good level of awareness and support is little short of amazing! Whilst the BID picked up the award, we did so on behalf of the wider partnership that has delivered such a great event, including all the teams and venues who contribute to the excellent Family Trail across the city on the day (thirteen venues in 2017), organised by Cressida Williams from the Cathedral Archives and Prof Louise Wilkinson, CCCU whose work on the Magna Carta Family Trail and subsequent support for the Pageant has laid the foundations for all that has been achieved and Peter Cook, Big Bash Music, whose vision has made the Pageant Parade an incredible event in its own right, and event organiser, Liz Flynn. The 2018 Medieval Pageant will take place on 7th July.
Following a round of public voting to find the best attractions, accommodation and pubs in the county, the seven Kent winners were announced at the awards ceremony in London on Friday afternoon (24th November).
The awards were devised and launched by destination specialists Go To Places – who deliver Visit Kent – to reward exceptional standards of customer service and outstanding visitor experiences within the local tourism industry.
Following an initial round of judging by an expert panel of independent tourism judges from outside the county, the shortlisted finalists were decided by public vote across social media and the Visit Kent website. More than 4,300 people voted for the winners in the end.
The winners are:
• Rest Your Head Award (Small Accommodation Provider of the Year) – Elmley Nature Reserve, Isle of Sheppey
• Happy Family Award (Family Friendly Business of the Year) – Penshurst Place & Gardens, Penshurst
• Big Sleep Award (Large Accommodation Provider of the Year) – Eastwell Manor, a Champneys Spa Hotel, Ashford
• Big Day Out Award (Large Visitor Attraction of the Year) – Leeds Castle, Maidstone
• Hidden Gem Award (Small Visitor Attraction of the Year) – Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel le Ferne
• Raising the Bar Award (Tourism Pub of the Year) – The White Horse, Dover
• Lasting Impression Award (Ultimate Tourism Experience of the Year) – Canterbury Medieval Pageant, Canterbury Connected Business Improvement District, Canterbury
The winners will now also get the chance to go forward to the national Awards for Excellence operated by VisitEngland (subject to VisitEngland eligibility criteria).
Go To Places represents both Visit Kent and Visit Herts destination management organiations, and both destinations were represented at the awards reception.
Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE, CEO of Go To Places, said: “We were thrilled by the response to these awards in their first year, from the number of applications and nominations to the huge response from the public to vote for the winners, all rounded off with a wonderful celebratory ceremony.
“The tourism industry deserves to be championed, and we hope these awards inspire more business to deliver incredible visitor experiences, and more people to explore the big and small gems on their doorstep.”
The awards were sponsored by M Assessments, Biddenden Vineyards, Brachers, Heart FM, Quin Estates, Quality in Tourism, Shepherd Neame, Sleeping Giant Media, and Pillory Barn.