Tourism businesses urged to ‘go for glory’ in REYTAs

William's Den is presented with a REYTA at last year's ceremony.
William's Den is presented with a REYTA at last year's ceremony.

Tourism businesses in the Pocklington area are being urged not to miss out on the chance to grab an industry “Oscar” and put themselves firmly in the spotlight.

The “go for glory” fanfare was sounded by Visit Hull and East Yorkshire tourism manager Andy Gray with the deadline for this year’s Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards - the REYTAs - fast approaching.

The deadline to enter, which can be done free and online at www.visithullandeastyorkshire.com/reyta, is Friday 18 January, after which a shortlist of finalists will be drawn up. Judging will then take place via independent panels and mystery shopping, ahead of the finals night at Hull’s showpiece Bonus Arena on Thursday 14 March.

2019 marks 10 years since the awards were first held and in that time, the value of tourism to the area has grown from £698 million to £878 million annually and is responsible for an additional 4,000 jobs.

This year’s awards night is expected to be the glitziest ever, marking a decade of growth for the industry.

Mr Gray said: “We certainly have some exciting plans for the evening that will get people talking.

“We are delighted to be bringing the event to the Bonus Arena which itself has had a huge impact on the region since it opened in 2018.”

For 2019, there are 14 REYTAs up for grabs, including a new category – Remarkable Food Experience.

One of those who triumphed in last year’s awards was Christian Carver, owner of one of the region’s newest tourist attractions, William’s Den – the adventure play centre at North Cave, which includes a 475 square metre play barn and extensive outdoor play, including a 50 metre zip wire. Indoors there’s a bespoke play adventure including a stream, rainmaker water cascade, unique climbing structures, nets, treehouse and bridges.

Opened in June 2017, it won the remarkable East Yorkshire Newcomer Award; the first of many scooped by William’s Den since.

It was, says Mr Carver, a reward for all the hard work that had gone in to an attraction that has attracted more than 150,000 visitors since it opened.

Mr Carver said: “William’s Den is a place where children can run, splash, jump and climb their way to the ‘best day ever’.

“We want kids to have freedom to play outside, get lots of fresh air, always finishing their day at William’s Den with rosy cheeks and big smiles.”