Sunday, 27 September 2009

And the winner is ...

Bleary eyed this morning on the early train home from Blackpool. Last night was the England's Northwest Tourism Awards with the best of the region gathered together in regeneration-central Blackpool for a night of red wine, back slapping and tourism gongs.
I didn't even have to sneak myself in the back door of the Tower Ballroom (located in the Tower, above) as I was nominated in the travel writer category for a piece in The Observer about Chester's food trail.
And I was staying at Number One St. Lukes, one of the new breed of guesthouse trying to drag Blackpool into an new era. The owner poured coffee into me at 6.45am this morning and made me a bacon sandwich for the train. He may just have saved my life.
So, anyway, scores on the doors: Cumbria four awards; Lancashire four; Chester two; Manchester three and Merseyside four. That's a pretty even distribution across the region on the night. Cue cries of political machinations and Eurovision-style block voting.
Seriously, though, a good night for the Arena and Convention Centre (ACC) Liverpool, picking up the Sustainable Tourism and Excellence in Business Tourism awards in recognition of its role in boosting Liverpool as a business tourism destination.
Good news too for Farmaggedon near Ormskirk, which came from nowhere to pick up the Tourism Experience of the Year. Many farmers re-invent themselves with farm shops and animal petting. This lot took a different angle: zombies.
And me? Well, looks like I'm to be always the bridesmaid. But at least I turned up.
The awards are staged by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and you can read the full list of winners is here.
Meanwhile, I need some sleep.

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