Businesses that have made it into the finals of the Leisure and Tourism category in this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, or BIBAs, are to be congratulated for helping promote ‘destination Lancashire’.
Dotted across the county, from coast to fell, in villages, towns and its two cities, Lancashire boasts a wide array of pubs, bars and restaurants that cater for every conceivable taste.
13 of its eateries have even achieved the coveted Michelin Star status.
As a result, the county has become a destination for foodies everywhere, bringing the taste of Lancashire from farm-to-fork by serving-up locally sourced produce.
It’s not just food lovers that travel to Lancashire. Thanks to the fact that 80 per cent of the county is officially classed as rural, it’s a hit with visitors that want an escape to the country, along with families that prefer to enjoy the seaside towns along Lancashire’s extensive coastline.
According to the judges of the Leisure and Tourism Business of the Year award, sponsored by Smooth Radio, the finalists have all excelled when it comes to playing their part in making Lancashire a place that people want to visit.
Clare Murray, station manager of Smooth Radio North West said: “The eight businesses that have made it into the finals in this category really have done the county proud.
“They showcase all that is great about Lancashire, putting it on the map and offering warm welcomes to all their patrons and guests.
“Leisure and tourism businesses were hit hard by Covid and are still recovering from it even now. The applicants that made it through two rounds of judging to reach the finals were able to demonstrate real determination to succeed against the odds, and a commitment to growing by attracting visitors and rewarding them with amazing experiences and top quality service.
“Obviously there can only be one winner, but they all deserve congratulations for helping to promote Lancashire as a destination and boost the visitor economy.”
The finalists are: Lytham St Annes Spitfire Display Team (The Spitfire Visitor Centre), Panache Cruises, The Lawrence Hotel, The Secret Garden Glamping, 1842 & Ivory Tower, Bowland Inns & Hotels, Collection Hotels and Golf Sports Management trading as Southport-Golf Academy.
Finalists in the Service Business of the Year award have also been highly commended by the judges in this fiercely competitive category.
Across the county, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) around 29,200 enterprises in Lancashire (about half the total) are service-based businesses, the rest being in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and construction.
The eight businesses that made it into the finals needed to show a genuine commitment to delivering very high levels of customer service and satisfaction, and they didn’t disappoint.
“We met some incredible people and businesses while judging this category,” said Micheal Dugdale from Trident Utilities said: “It’s easy to talk a good story when it comes to ‘delivering a quality service’ only to pay lip service to it, but that wasn’t the case with any of the finalists.
“You could just tell that customer service excellence runs through them like a thread, it’s in their DNA. They know that they have to delight their customers or risk losing them, and so have made that their mission.
“It made judging quite tricky, because they were all so good.”
The applicants that made it into the finals in the Service Business of the Year category are: Becketts FS, Clifton Homecare, HEIR Salon, ICG, NW Recruitment Services, Orca, Scope Fire & Security and Suresite