King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester wins major UK tourism award

Posted by ap507 at Nov 05, 2014 10:09 AM |
Award presented at British Guild of Travel Writers’ annual awards ceremony in London

Issued by Leicestershire Promotions on 4 November 2014 

The King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester has won the UK category of the British Guild of Travel Writers' top annual tourism awards.

The awards were presented at a glittering awards ceremony in London's Savoy Hotel on Sunday 2 November 2014, sponsored by the Louisiana Tourist Board and Brand USA. Each tourism project was completed within the past three years, each was nominated by a Guild member and selected via a secret ballot of the Guild's 270 professional journalists, writers, editors, photographers, broadcasters and bloggers.

The King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester won in the UK category, the Andreasstrasse Memorial & Education Centre, Erfurt, Germany took top honours in the European Category while the High Line Park in NYC was the winner for the Wider World category. The two runners up in the UK category were the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London and Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Wiltshire.

The award was accepted by Dr Richard Buckley from the University of Leicester who led the archaeology team that discovered the remains of King Richard III. Martin Traynor, Chairman of the King Richard III Visitor Centre Board of Trustees also attended the ceremony and said: “The King Richard III Visitor Centre opened earlier this year to much acclaim and has proven to be a popular attraction in Leicester ever since. To be recognised by the wider tourism community and in particular, the British Guild of Travel Writers, is testament to the unique story that we’re telling about the Dynasty, Death and Discovery of King Richard III.”

The King Richard III Visitor Centre was nominated by travel writer and Guild member, Rebecca Ford who proposed the project after a visit to Leicester, organised and hosted by, and following a previous invitation from Leicester Shire Promotions. This visit resulted in a subsequent editorial feature produced by Rebecca and published in the Daily Express newspaper. For this nomination, Rebecca was asked to evaluate the project on the basis of both its tourism potential and its benefit to the local community.

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions said: “It's fantastic news that one of Leicester's newest visitor attractions has won this major tourism award. One of our key roles is to promote the city and county through the national travel press. Consequently, we're delighted that Rebecca was so inspired by her visit that she chose to nominate the Centre for the UK category."

Guild Chairman, Mary Moore Mason was enthusiastic about the spread of finalists this year: “The winners, and indeed all those shortlisted for the British Guild of Travel Writers Tourism Awards, reflect how far our members travel for stories. They also prove what a rich resource our membership offers to editors. For 30 years, the Tourism Awards have been a way of celebrating the diversity and creativity of tourism projects around the world, as well as the contribution that these initiatives make to local economies.”

Last July the eponymous King Richard III Visitor Centre opened in the former Alderman Newton’s School in Leicester, located next to the very spot where the remains of Richard were found. The discovery of the King’s remains created a global sensation when they were found in 2010. The centre is based on the theme of Dynasty (the story of how Richard controversially ascended the throne), his Death on the battlefield and, carrying on up to the first floor, the Discovery section which focuses on the science and archaeology around the finding of Richard’s remains. Exhibits here include a detailed facial reconstruction, a replica of Richard’s skeleton that clearly shows the curved spine and battle injuries plus a timeline of actors who have portrayed Richard III on stage.

The BGTW also presented travel writing and photography awards, selected by an outside jury, to its own members during the evening, which was attended by 300 top travel industry and media representatives.

Founded 54 years ago, the Guild consists of professional travel writers, editors, photographers, broadcasters and bloggers.

 ENDS

Notes to Editors:

About Leicester Shire Promotions

Leicester Shire Promotions is the tourism organisation for Leicester and Leicestershire. The company works in partnership with Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, VisitEngland and the local tourism industry to deliver campaigns and services to attract more visitors to the city and county. For more information go to www.goleicestershire.com or follow us on Twitter at @l_p_l

Contact: Simon Gribbon, Leicester Shire Promotions: simon.gribbon@l-p-l.com

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