An animal attraction with unique walkthrough exhibits is leading the way in a tourism awards scheme.
The shortlist for the Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism & Good Food Awards 2023 has been announced, with Peak Wildlife Park clocking up the most nominations.
The attraction, near Leek, allows visitors to come face-to-face with its animals and even feed some of them.
As well as being in the running for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, it has made the shortlist for five other categories including Experience of the Year for its Be a Keeper Experience.
Staffordshire Moorlands neighbour and theme park Alton Towers is also shortlisted in several categories, as is Trentham Estate, near Stoke-on-Trent.
Elsewhere in the county, The National Memorial Arboretum, at Alrewas, the ABC Leisure Group in Lichfield, Hoar Cross Hall, in Burton-upon-Trent, and Go Ape Cannock Chase are also hoping for success.
Smaller shortlisted businesses include Leek’s independent bistro Duck Goose, Gelato & Cakes, in Cheadle, and The Tamworth Tap, in Tamworth.
Over 95 entries were received for the awards, with more than 40 of the county’s best tourism and hospitality businesses now going head-to-head. The next stage includes a potential mystery visit from the independent judges, to help decide the overall winners in the 19 categories.
Winners will be announced during a black-tie awards ceremony on March 9.
Many of the ‘Gold’ winners will progress to represent Staffordshire at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in June.
Philip White, Cabinet Member with responsibility for tourism at Staffordshire County Council, said: “The Enjoy Staffordshire tourism awards remain an important competition for our tourism and hospitality sector, and each year we see more and more entries which is great.
“These awards are all about celebrating the contributions of everyone working in the sector to give visitors a great experience of our wonderful county.
“I’d like to congratulate all those businesses shortlisted for an award and for getting through the first stage. I wish them the best of luck in the Mystery Shopper visit which is the next stage of the competition.”
The shortlist can be found in full here.