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And the winner is...The Beatles

'Outstanding Contribution' award from tourism bosses

Written by . Published on June 18th 2012.

And the winner is...The Beatles

YOU either love ‘em or loathe ‘em, but the Beatles have earned the biggest accolade at Merseyside’s Annual Tourism Awards. 

And while some may say “about time too,” others will be screaming and shouting “how come we haven’t moved on?” 

In a copy of what often happens at the Baftas, none of the (remaining) Beatles were present to collect their Outstanding Achievement Award down at the ACC arena. Thus they missed the chance to shake it up with businessman John Lynch who presented the award and who these days operates a copy of another Mathew Street legend, Eric’s. 

Ex-Hollyoaks star and “Loose Woman” Terri Dwyer hosted the theatre-style event, handing out gongs to the people and attractions keeping our tourism industry ticking over. 

Whether people like it or not, the Beatles remain a major tourism draw for Liverpool. Hadn’t government minister Grant Shapps been parading all over Madryn Street a few hours earlier, crowing about Ringo's birthplace being saved for ever? 

So in the Liverpool LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) awards night, it was announced there would be a special surprise award. An accolade for Outstanding Contribution to the Tourism Sector went to The Beatles in recognition this year marks the 50th year since the band’s formation. Oh and it also marks Sir Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday which is today Monday (18 June) – Happy Birthday Macca! 

The awards opened with a group of street acrobats dressed in Sergeant Pepper outfits and finished with several numbers from a look-alike Beatles tribute band. It seemed to signal a mini-stampede to the buffet-style reception outside the theatre area where the food was not Beatles themed. 

And yet inbetween, the awards illustrated, there is more to Liverpool than the Fab Four. And while critics groan they should be left in the sixties, my response would be …. It’s a good job the people of Stratford Upon Avon didn‘t take that view about a guy who lived there 500 years ago. 

The award for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year went to Liverpool One. Does that mean if I pop into Primark I’m a shopper, but if I nip around the corner to W H Smith I’m a tourist? 

...and......and...While the building of Liverpool One has dramatically changed the landscape of the city centre and the economy of Liverpool, it may be seen by some as a strange choice. How can the likes of the Lawnmower Museum compete with the Duke of Westminster’s shops. 

It seems, though, coach-loads of people head to Liverpool for the shopping experience. 

Tourism generates £3billion a year and is estimated to support 42,300 jobs across Merseyside.

There were 67 finalists across 16 categories showcasing what Liverpool and its neighbours have to offer. Most of the winners now go forward to represent the Liverpool City Region in Visit England’s Awards for Excellence. 

Two new awards were announced - the People’s Choice Award - won by The Beatles Story. The second new category was Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year won by Sally Boyd from The Wro bar in West Kirby, Wirral, which, itself, won best bar in the region two years ago.

...and......Every...The new Museum of Liverpool scooped two awards – Tourism Event of the Year and Tourism Marketing Initiative of the Year for its “People’s Opening” event. 

Since its inauguration last July, the £72million Pier Head museum has already welcomed 1.2m visitors. 

For the third year running, Hope Street Hotel was named Hotel of the Year. The Taste Liverpool award was won by Delifonseca Dockside at Brunswick Dock. 

Darkstar Ultimate Laser Arena in St.Helens was named Small Visitor Attraction. 

...and......wherePam Wilsher, head of Visitor Economy Development for the Liverpool LEP, commented: "These awards recognise and reward excellence in this important and growing sector, and the winners and finalists all play a vital role in the region’s flourishing visitor economy. Every year we are encouraged not only to see record numbers of entries, but the quality benchmark rising higher and higher. 

She went on: "’Liverpool Celebrates 50 Years of The Beatles’ is a year-long programme of events to mark this historic year, so it was fitting that their immeasurable contribution to the tourism sector be acknowledged. And their popularity amongst the general public remains high with The Beatles Story picking up the People’s Choice Award.


Excellence in Customer Service

 Sponsored by Hotel Indigo Liverpool

Damian Jones – Base2Stay Liverpool

Tourism Marketing Initiative of the Year

 Sponsored by SK Events & PR

Museum of Liverpool – Opening Campaign

 Highly commended: René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle (Tate Liverpool)

Serviced Apartments of the Year 

Sponsored by BBC Radio Merseyside

Staybridge Suites Liverpool

Highly commended: BridgeStreet at Liverpool ONE

Culture & Heritage Experience of the Year 

Sponsored by Knowsley Safari Park

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Highly commended: The John Smith’s Grand National, Sefton

Bar of the Year 

Sponsored by Opus Events

Leaf Tea Shop & Bar, Liverpool

Taste Liverpool 

Sponsored by Liverpool Fashion Week

Delifonseca Dockside, Liverpool

Highly commended: The London Carriage Works, Liverpool

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year 

Sponsored by Liverpool Football Club’s Boot Room Sports Cafe

Darkstar Ultimate Laser Arena, St.Helens

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 

Sponsored by Virgin Trains

Liverpool ONE

Highly commended: The Beatles Story

Excellence in Business Tourism 

Sponsored by Merseytravel

Conferencing & Events, National Museums Liverpool

 Guest Accommodation of the Year *

Sponsored by Everton Football Club

Mere Brook House, Wirral

Highly commended: Base2Stay Liverpool 

Excellence in Sustainable Tourism *

Sponsored by Scottish Power

ACC Liverpool

Retailer of the Year

Sponsored by Liverpool City Central BID

Cathedral Shop at Liverpool Cathedral

Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by ACC Liverpool

Sally Boyd, The Wro, Wirral

People’s Choice Award

Sponsored by Liverpool Hoteliers Association

The Beatles Story

Tourism Event of the Year

Sponsored by Stena Line

Museum of Liverpool – People’s Opening

Hotel of the Year

Sponsored by Liverpool Vision

Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool

Highly commended: Hotel Indigo Liverpool and The Vincent Hotel, Southport


Outstanding Contribution to the Tourism Sector

Sponsored by Eric’s

The Beatles

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Andy MeliaJune 23rd 2012.

Er, what about Tate Liverpool then? Really on the Monet in my opinion.

1 Response: Reply To This...
EditorialJune 23rd 2012.

Review coming shortly. Yes, it's an excellent show

Darth FormbyJune 23rd 2012.

I noticed on the invite that the cafe and bar were going to be open, so I didn't go. No canapes and free wine and I'm not interested thanks.

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