Tourism gongs for Marco, El Piano, a Fleece and a Fig

27 Apr 2012 @ 5.45 am
| News
Class of 2012: York's tourism champions. Photograph: Visit York

He shoots – he scores!

Former football star Marco Gabbiadini has just landed another winner’s medal, after the guest house he runs with his wife Deborah scooped one of the top awards in the Visit York Tourism Awards last night.

Marco played for York City 78 times in two spells, making his senior debut for the club aged just 17 in 1985. He also played for some lesser clubs, like Sunderland and Derby County, and was capped for England at under-21 level.

Marco retired from his football career in 2004 to run Bishops guest house, pictured below, a beautifully restored Victorian townhouse on Holgate Road in York.

The venue won Guest Accommodation of the Year, one of 13 businesses to be honoured at the tourism awards, held at the National Railway Museum and hosted by BBC presenter Phil Bodmer.

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Other winners included Hotel of the Year Middlethorpe Hall, The Golden Fleece, Pavement, which was crowned Pub of the Year, and the Hairy Fig deli and café on Fossgate, named Best Shopping Experience.

Six restaurants battled it out for the people’s choice Taste of York title, which was presented to El Piano restaurant, on Grape Lane – the only award voted for by the public during a two-month promotion to 10,000 Visit York Facebook fans and Twitter followers. 

Ian Reed of Yorkshire Air Museum was named York Ambassador. Chief executive of Visit York Gillian Cruddas said: “Ian has worked tirelessly over the last 20 years to promote York across the globe. He is always brimming with enthusiasm and imagination. 

“The French in York event last year would not have happened without his dedication and vision to bring something different to the city.”

Well done too to Shirley Fletcher, of Hilton York, who won the Outstanding Customer Service Award, and Alan Rowley of Complete Yorkshire, the Employee of the Year.

In a photo-finish York Racecourse took the title Visitor Attraction of the Year (50,000 visitors and over) just pipping York Dungeon to the post.

Gillian added: “Despite a challenging economic climate, it is encouraging to see so many businesses and individuals go the extra mile to ensure York continues to go from strength to strength as a world-renowned visitor destination.”

The winners

Guest Accommodation of the Year

Hotel of the Year
Middlethorpe Hall & Spa

Self Catering/Caravan Park of the Year
Dovecote Barns

Pub of the Year
The Golden Fleece

Outstanding Customer Service Award
Shirley Fletcher, Hilton York

Business Tourism Award
York Marriott Hotel

Marketing Campaign of the Year
York Maze

Employee of the Year
Alan Rowley, Complete Yorkshire

Best Shopping Experience
The Hairy Fig

Visitor Attraction of the Year (under 50,000 visitors)
The Ice Factor

Visitor Attraction of the Year (50,000 visitors & over)
York Racecourse 2011 Season
Highly Commended: York Dungeon

Taste of York – The People’s Choice Award
El Piano

York Ambassador
Ian Reed, Yorkshire Air Museum