“There’s a feeling around that this will be the year to beat all years,” said VHEY’s tourism manager Andy Gray. “We’ve been steadily building this annual event for the past eight years and I think it’s fair to say the REYTAs are now regarded as extremely prestigious to win as well as being awards which bring tangible business benefits.
“Hull and East Yorkshire is very much in the national spotlight at the moment because of City of Culture so I would suggest there has never been a better time for tourism businesses to showcase their efforts and bask a little in the attention the area is getting nationally and internationally.
Major backing, in the form of sponsorship, has come from businesses in the region and everything is now in place to make this year’s finals night at the Spa in Bridlington a night to remember.
“There is always a tremendous buzz around the REYTAs, but this year that’s even more so,” said Andy Gray. “I would urge everyone to get their entries in as soon as possible ahead of the deadline of January 29. Previous winners tell us what a difference it makes, not only for staff morale, but for marketing themselves to a wider audience. They are a kite mark for quality.”
There are a total of 14 categories that businesses can enter, which can be done free and online by visiting www.visithullandeastyorkshire.com/reyta In addition there will be a 15th award, made by the Visit Hull & East Yorkshire Advisory Board to the person who, in their judgement, has made a significant contribution to tourism in our region.
A shortlist of finalists in all categories will be drawn up after the closing date, all of whom will will be invited to the final on March 30 at the Spa where the winners – selected by a panel of independent experts – will be announced.
Winners will also be eligible to be shortlisted through to the finals of the national Visit England tourism awards.
The awards are free to enter and the process has been made even simpler this year. “Individuals and businesses can just enter themselves by visiting our website – they don’t have to wait to be nominated,” said REYTAs organiser Paul Vinsen.
“There really is nothing to lose and everything to gain – just being shortlisted, let alone winning, will put the spotlight firmly on their businesses.
“All those shortlisted will be featured at our prestigious awards dinner, with individual videos spotlighting what they have to offer being shown during the evening,” he said.