THERE was much to smile about in Stratford following the first ever West Midlands Tourism Awards.
A number of businesses and organisations in the district scooped gongs in the showcase for the region’s visitor attraction, leisure and hospitality sectors, organised by the West Midlands Growth Company.
There were golds for Shakespeare Distillery (New Tourism Business), Shakespeare’s Birthplace (International Tourism) and the Royal Shakespeare Company (Large Visitor Attraction).
Silvers were collected by Avonlea (B&B and Guesthouse), Go Cotswolds (International Tourism), Hotel Indigo (New Tourism Business), Shakespeare Schoolroom & Guildhall (Small Visitor Attraction), Baraset Barn (Small Hotel) and the Royal Shakespeare Company (Accessible and Inclusive Tourism and Experience of the Year)
And there was a bronze for Victoria Spa Lodge (B&B and Guesthouse).
Shakespeare Distillery director Peter Monks said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won gold.
“Having established our business five years ago, our gins have gone from strength to strength and we introduced our distillery tours and gin school a year ago.
“Winning this award is testament to our brilliant team who work incredibly hard in producing high quality, locally made handcrafted spirits. We are continuing to expand and improve our visitor offering and are currently renovating a larger area for groups to enjoy our tours and experiences at our distillery.”
The awards evening also saw guests treated to a song from the RSC’s hit musical The Boy in the Dress.
Regional gold and silver winners automatically get entered into the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in June.