The British Guild of Travel Writers’ has presented the Mary Rose Museum with a top annual tourism award.
The Mary Rose, at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, nominated by journalist Christina Ediss, won the Best UK Tourism Project award. The ship-shaped, space-age building houses the Mary Rose Tudor warship which mysteriously sank on a calm summer’s evening in 1545 and was raised from the seabed in 1982. Cleverly displayed are thousands of fascinating items ranging from Henry VIII’s cannons to re-creations of the faces of several crew members based upon their skeletal remains.
The museum has been an unprecedented success for Portsmouth and the region, having attracted over 290,000 people from all over the world since opening on May 31st 2013.
The museum was in equally prestigious company, as the other projects to receive the top awards were the renovation of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and the rebirth of the Tren Crucero railway linking Ecuador’s coastal Guayaquil with its World Heritage Site capital Quito.
Each tourism project was completed within the past three years, each was nominated by a Guild member and they were all selected via a secret ballot of the Guild’s 275 professional journalists, writers, editors, photographers and broadcasters. They were asked to evaluate each proposed project on the basis of both its tourism potential and its benefit to the local community.
The awards were presented at a glittering awards ceremony in London’s Savoy Hotel on Sunday 3rd November, sponsored by the Belgian Tourist Office, Brussels and Wallonia.
The two runners up in the Best UK Tourism Project category were the extension to East Grinstead’s Bluebell Railway, nominated by Timothy Locke, and Belfast’s £97 million Titanic Museum, nominated by Peter Lynch.
Sally Tyrrell, Head of Development at the Mary Rose Trust said “I was delighted to receive the award on behalf of everyone involved with the Mary Rose and those involved with the creation of our wonderful new museum. It was an honour for us to win the best UK tourism award especially as it was voted for by the members of the Guild.”
Guild Chair Roger Bray said: “The British Guild of Travel Writers has made these awards for 30 years as a way of celebrating the diversity and creativity and local contribution of tourism related projects around the world and their contribution to local economies. We had a particularly rich and varied number of nominated projects to choose from this year.”