TOURISM businesses in the region have been shortlisted for annual awards aimed at finding the best in the industry.

Hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions have been shortlisted for the North East England Tourism Awards, which are aimed at showcasing the best in the business.

Among those to be shortlisted are County Durham businesses Seaham Hall, Beamish Museum, near Stanley, Hall Hill Farm, in Lanchester and Durham University’s corporate event team, Event Durham.

Durham Pointers, who help show visitors around the city, were also shortlisted in the volunteers category.

A total of 53 businesses from across the North-East made the shortlist, with the winners due to be announced in November.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We’ve had another brilliant year for entries and it’s great to see so many new businesses enter the awards, as well as those applying again.

“The North East England Tourism Awards celebrate the success of our thriving tourism sector and the importance of the industry in the region.

“The tourism sector continues to thrive in the North East of England and we’re looking forward to celebrating the awards at the ceremony in November.”

All shortlisted applicants will also have the chance to enter the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2018.

Last year, the North East was well represented with five businesses picking up national awards, including one for Rockliffe Hall Hotel, in Hurworth, near Darlington and Beamish Museum.

This year’s event is sponsored by Northumbrian Water, Newcastle College and Bidfood.

David Hall, head of leisure, strategy and transformation at Northumbrian Water, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the awards for the sixth year in a row, they showcase the very best the North East has to offer those visiting, living and working in the region.

“From spectacular coastlines, vibrant city cultures and fantastic heritage sites to our own breathtaking Kielder Waterside there is something for everyone.

“Tourism is a vital part of our economy and we are looking forward to celebrating its success.”

Susan Justice, head of business development at Bidfood said: “The North East has a wide variety of brilliant tourism and hospitality businesses and it’s great to be able to recognise this at the North East England Tourism Awards. We are thrilled to be involved and can’t wait to celebrate those organisations that really go the extra mile for those visiting the region.”

Winners will be announced at an event on Thursday, November 16 at The Boiler Shop in partnership with Crowne Plaza Newcastle.

The full 2017 shortlist:

Hotel of the Year:

• Seaham Hall;

• Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant;

• Hotel Du Vin;

• Crowne Plaza Newcastle - Stephenson Quarter.

Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year:

• The Percy Arms, Chatton;

• Newton Hall;

• Barrasford Arms;

• The Joiners Arms.

Bed and Breakfast of the Year:

• Mill House B&B;

• The Old Manse B&B;

• St Cuthbert's House;

• West Longridge Manor Bed and Breakfast.

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year:

• West Wood Yurts;

• Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd;

• Brunton House and Cottages;

• Renner Farming - Bellshill Tower.

Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year:

• Seafield Caravan Park;

• Kielder Waterside;

• Ord House Country Park.

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year:

• The Aln Valley Railway Trust;

• South Tynedale Railway;

• Kirkley Hall;

• Bide-a-Wee Cottage Garden and Nursery;

• Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant;

• Hall Hill Farm.

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year:

• Kielder Water & Forest Park (KWFP);

• The Alnwick Garden;

• Beamish, The Living Museum of the North.

Guided Tour of the Year:

• Behind the Books @ the Lit & Phil;

• BBC Tours;

• Victoria Tunnel;

• Wild Dog Outdoors.

Dog Friendly Business of the Year:

• Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd;

• Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant;

• South Tynedale Railway.

Tourism Pub of the Year:

• The Botanist;

• The Apple Inn;

• Barrasford Arms.

Taste of England Award:

• The Potted Lobster;

• Blackfriars Restaurant Banquet Hall, Cookery School, Parlour Bar and Tasting Room;

• Barrasford Arms;

• Block and Bottle.

Sustainable Tourism Award:

• Laverock Law Cottages;

• St Cuthbert's House.

Inclusive Tourism Award:

• Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books;

• Sage Gateshead.

Business Tourism Award:

• Event Durham, Durham University;

• Seaham Hall;

• Newcastle City Council, Hospitality Services (Newcastle Civic Centre);

• Sage Gateshead.

Visitor Information Provider of the Year:

• Hartlepool Borough Council - Hartlepool Railway Station & Coast Project;

• Durham Pointers;

• South Tyneside Visitor Information Centre.