DESPITE a tough year for the tourism industry and continued uncertainty being created by the pandemic, the efforts of businesses in the sector will be recognised in the 2021 North East Tourism Awards.

The shortlist for the awards has been announced, featuring many businesses in Tynedale.

Taking place in March 2022, the awards evening will see shortlisted candidates in 15 categories, all vying for the top spot.

Langley Castle has been shortlisted for both the 'Resilience and Innovation Award' and the 'Small Hotel of the Year' award.

Meanwhile, Sycamore Cottage & Glamping Pods, in Barrasford, has been nominated for the 'New Tourism Business Award'.

Popular venues The Feathers Inn, Hedley on the Hill, The Blackbird, Ponteland, and The Twice Brewed Inn, Bardon Mill have all received nominations for the 'Pub of the Year'.

The Feathers Inn has also been shortlisted for the 'Taste of North East England'.

St Oswald's Farm, in Wall, is up for 'Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year', while Kielder Observatory has been nominated for 'Small Visitor Attraction of the Year'.

Finally, Vindolanda has been shortlisted for the 'Large Visitor Attraction of the Year' award.

Ian Thomas, Destination Director at NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI), said: “The tourism sector is a vitally important part of the regional economy, and the awards enable us to showcase the best of the sector. NGI continues to throw its weight behind the tourism sector in the north east, and we’ve ensured the region’s voice is heard, for example by attending briefings with the Tourism Minister.”

NGI’s Ian Thomas said: “Recently, Northumberland National Park was voted the best in the UK, two North East beaches are on a list of UK's 'best kept secrets' and Newcastle was placed as one of the world's 20 most fascinating second cities by internationally renowned Rough Guides who highlighted our brilliant night-life, rich arts & culture and famous Geordie charm as reasons to visit.

“National Geographic recently included Hadrian’s Wall as one its 35 must-visit destinations around the world in 2022, alongside the likes of Rome, Oslo and Costa Rica and that’s perfect timing for the Wall’s 1900th anniversary and a packed programme of events starting in January. These are all great reasons to celebrate our tourism sector.”

The North East England Tourism Awards are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the North East Tourism Alliance.

The Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that benefit the industry.