Mid Wales tourism awards night celebrates success
A restaurant bar and rooms south of Welshpool has won two trophies at the inaugural, Mid Wales Tourism Awards.
The Nags Head at Garthmyl was judged the best place to eat and drink while its manager, Amy Clark was named best young tourism person of the year.
Stars of the region's tourism and hospitality industry shone brightly as businesses, organisations and individuals were recognised at a ceremony at the Hafren, Newtown. Compere for the evening was Welsh tourism personality Jonathan Jones, CBE.
The awards are organised by MWT Cymru with support from Mid Wales Tourism Forum, a public and sector partnership and Visit Wales, the Welsh Government’s tourism arm. Category winners now go forward to the Welsh Tourism Awards.
Amy's young person of the year award was designed to recognise young entrepreneurial, professional and business talents aged 30 years and under.
A spokesman for the restaurant praised the manger and all the staff saying: "Here at the Nags we are proud to have 26 members of staff 25 years and under. We believe the future of tourism in Mid Wales is in safe hands.
"We are over the moon with our awards, congratulations goes to all our staff for their dedication & hard work and our wonderful loyal customers for their support. We look forward to representing Mid Wales at the National Tourism Awards for Wales in March."
The Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth took the award for the best third sector organisation.
On accepting the award John Challen, head of CAT’s Eco Centre, said: “We have had an amazing year, so being able to take this award back to CAT is going to be a real boost to all the staff. It has been a real team effort."
CAT has worked for more than 45 years to transform a redundant Welsh slate quarry into one of the world’s leading eco centres.
It covers 23 hectares in the Dulas Valley near Machynlleth and attracts around 27,000 visitors a year. The attraction is enjoying a major resurgence, with a 35 per cent increase in visitors in the past year with major plans for the future to meet growing demand for its services.
Other winners include: Corris Mine Explorers, best activity; Dan-Yr-Ogof National Showcaves Centre for Wales, best visitor attraction; Wonderwool Wales, best event; Ty Cwch, Cwmtydu, near Llandysul, tourism innovation award; Trefeddian Hotel, Aberdyfi, best hotel; Gwesty Cymru, Aberystwyth, best guest accommodation; Mid Wales Holiday Lets, Rhayader, best self catering; Fforest Fields, Hundred House, best camping/touring park.
The Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells, received the Best Accommodation For Groups Award, Canvas & Campfires, Lampeter, the Best Glamping/ Quirky Accommodation and The Centre for Alternative Technology, near Machynlleth which collected the Best Third Sector Award.
The evening began with the popular presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Pam Powell from Rhayader, who is approaching her 95th birthday, for her considerable contribution to the tourism industry in Mid Wales spanning many decades.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “These awards are all about recognising and rewarding excellence and celebrating quality of standards and experiences. These are important attributes for any tourism business and gives our visitors reasons to visit and return to Wales on holiday.
“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate all winners and finalists for their commitment to quality and for their contribution to the visitor economy and in making Wales such a world class visitor destination.”
Steve Hughson, Mid Wales Tourism Forum chair, said: “I am delighted with the strength of entries across all categories in tonight’s Mid Wales Tourism Awards. The quality of what Mid Wales has to offer is clear and we must seize every opportunity to improve the region’s economy. Tourism will play a major part in that.
“I would like to wish all of our regional winners every success in the National Tourism awards.”
MWT Cymru’s chief executive Val Hawkins congratulated the winners and finalists and thanked all the businesses and individuals who had entered the inaugural awards, which she said were a great showcase for Mid Wales region.
“We were delighted with the fantastic response to the awards, having received more than 130 entries from across Mid Wales,” she added. “The quality of entries was excellent, underlining the high standards that we are achieving in Mid Wales tourism industry.”