The much anticipated shortlist for the Liverpool City Region Annual Tourism Awards 2012 has been announced today (Thursday, 12 April, 2012). The awards recognise excellence and quality across the Visitor Economy, and celebrate the tireless work undertaken by people working in the tourism industry. The event is organised by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership – Tourist Board for the destination – and the Awards Ceremony takes place on the evening of Thursday, 14 June, at the BT Convention Centre. Judges have completed the first round of assessment to review the achievements of more than 100 entrants to determine the shortlist (full list attached). The second round of judging will take place in early May. A total of 16 categories showcase a diverse Visitor Economy, and this year’s shortlist includes finalists from Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, St.Helens and Knowsley, ranging from small independently owned businesses to large companies. The winners of 10 categories will then go on to represent Liverpool City Region in VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence. Pam Wilsher, Head of Visitor Economy Development for the Liverpool LEP, commented: “Each year, we never fail but to be encouraged and excited by the diverse range of entries across all categories – and this year has not disappointed, resulting in a shortlist of very strong contenders who all deserve their place. “The Visitor Economy plays a vital role in sustaining thousands of jobs across the City Region and bringing billions of pound to the destination – which is why the Tourism Awards are so important as they recognise, reward and celebrate the hard work, commitment and dedication of everyone working across the industry.” Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy is a thriving industry which generates visitor spend of £3billion a year and is estimated to support 42,300 jobs. Figures show that in 2010, an estimated 54.5 million visitor trips were made to Liverpool City Region – this comprised 4.4 million staying visitors and 50.1 million day visitors. Meanwhile, public voting is still open for the People’s Choice Award – a new category for 2012. This category has an open criteria and people can vote for their favourite attraction, restaurant, gallery or event – as long as it is in Liverpool City Region. The nomination can be chosen for any number of reasons, such as an overall great experience, family friendly, great service or its consistent high standard – it really is up to the ‘people’ to choose. Votes can be cast via an online questionnaire at www.visitliverpool.com/survey and through VisitLiverpool’s two social media channels on Twitter and Facebook. The Top 10 will then be presented to an independent judging panel and the winner announced at the Awards Ceremony in June. The closing date is 29 April. The Liverpool City Region Annual Tourism Awards 2012 is being supported by Merseytravel, City Central BID, Sanguine Hospitality and Stena Line.