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Staffordshire shortlisted as UK’s top destination for groups

Staffordshire is in the running to be voted the UK’s best group travel destination thanks to the work of the county’s Destination Management Partnership, Enjoy Staffordshire.

Already a popular spot for group visits, the county has not only been shortlisted for the prestigious industry award, but two of its leading attractions have also been nominated in two other categories.

Staffordshire is among six finalists in the annual Group Leisure & Travel Magazine Awards, up against group travel hotspots across the country including London, Devon and York.

As well as the overall destination award, the county’s National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas has been shortlisted for Best UK Attraction, while Alton Towers Resort is in the running for Best UK Attraction for Children & Families.

Philip White, Deputy Leader at Staffordshire County Council and Chair of Enjoy Staffordshire said:

“Staffordshire is a great place to visit and over the years we’ve earned a reputation as a favourite destination for groups, due to our huge variety of visitor attractions, combined with a beautiful natural environment.

“We’re attraction central, the biggest and best playground in the country, with something for everyone.  We have two of the UK’s top theme parks and some of the country’s most spectacular outdoor scenery.  We have national and international attractions like Alton Towers, Wedgwood, the National Memorial Arboretum, Lichfield Cathedral, Trentham Gardens, the National Forest and the National Football Centre at St George’s Park.

“It’s great to be nominated for these awards, which will help promote our great county and support economic growth through the efforts of our Destination Management Partnership.”

Speaking about the awards and being shortlisted,  Maria Howes, Head of Marketing & Business Development at the National Memorial Arboretum said:

“Every year the Arboretum welcomes over 300,000 people to explore our 150-acre site.  Our team work diligently to provide a wide range of services and packages to enhance the experience for visiting groups, whilst ensuring that they receive a warm welcome.

“After winning this category last year, it is incredible to once again be nominated for Best UK Attraction at the Group Leisure and Travel Awards, and we would be so proud if we were to win again for a second year.”

Dubbed the UK’s ‘biggest and best playground’, theme park fans have long been drawn to Staffordshire, and one of the biggest, Alton Towers Resort, is also in the running for yet another award to add to its long list of top titles. Home to world-class coasters and cutting edge attractions, the Theme Park Resort offers fun, thrills and year-round events for families and thrill-seekers alike.

Kate McBirnie, Head of Guest Excellence at Alton Towers Resort, said:

“ We continue to invest in the experience we offer to families and children, so it’s a real honour to be recognised by Group Leisure & Travel Magazine. To be in the running for such a prestigious award as Best UK Attraction for Children & Families really means a lot.

“We strive to provide a truly memorable and immersive experience for all our guests, captivating their imaginations each time they escape to Alton Towers Resort, whether that be for the day or as part of an overnight experience.  We believe that this approach is pivotal to ensuring guests return to Staffordshire time and time again, exploring more of what our fantastic region has to offer and encouraging economic growth.”

With a central location within the UK, good road links and train connections, around 75% of the UK population lives within a three-hour drive of the area.

Recognising the best providers, attractions and destinations for groups as voted for by readers of the magazine, the winners will be announced at a ceremony on 5 October.

For further details about group visits to Staffordshire, including suggested group itineraries visit www.enjoystaffordshire.com/groups.

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