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Medway in the running for top tourism awards

Date: 18/09/2008           Category: Tourism

Two of Medway’s most popular and enduring visitor attractions have been shortlisted for a prestigious award as part of the south east region’s Tourism ExSEllence Awards 2008. Hosted and organised by Tourism South East, the awards recognise excellence, quality and innovation, achieved during the last 18 months, across all sectors of the tourism industry. Rochester Castle and The Historic Dockyard, Chatham are now in a shortlist of just five attractions, having been selected from several hundred in the category of Best Large Visitor Attraction. The other candidates are Hampton Court, Blenheim Palace and Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey. Key features which have earned Rochester Castle its nomination include £200,000 of conservation works on the keep, new EU-funded interpretation technology including audio-guides and panels and a creative event programme focusing on the site's rich history. Meanwhile The Historic Dockyard, enjoyed a 23 per cent growth in visitors in 2007 and has maintained this growth into 2008. Two new attractions recently opened at the unique maritime heritage attraction - the Victorian Ropery Tour, led by a costumed guide ‘in character’, and 3 Slip - The BIG Store, where visitors can see items from the collections of The Historic Dockyard and the Royal Engineers Museum, as well as appreciate the awe-inspiring wooden roof structure of this covered slip. Medway Council and The Historic Dockyard combine very successfully to deliver innovative destination marketing campaigns each year. Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth Cllr Jane Chitty said: “This is excellent news and further proof that Medway is well on the way to becoming a nationally recognised tourist destination. I am delighted that two of our top attractions have earned the commendation they deserve and I’d like to thank everyone who played a part in achieving the nominations." The winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday, 28 October, hosted by BBC travel presenter Simon Calder. ENDS Editors: For further information please contact Lisa Caleno on 01634 338308 or email lisa.caleno@medway.gov.uk