Laura Rawlings and Doug Allan hosted the prestigious awards ceremony at the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre, with guest speakers Bev and Sarah Milner-Simonds, from multi-award-winning eat:Festivals.
This year, they had a record 142 entries across Somerset, with 82 finalists across 28 award categories, with a further 15 businesses receiving Commended status.
This year’s competition has seen many changes, with new entry forms, new processes and a closer-than-ever link with the regional South West and national VisitEngland Awards.
Opening for its nineteenth year on 28th November and running until 15th December, this year’s Bath Christmas Market will see over 150 twinkling chalets spread out across Bath’s picturesque Georgian streets. The very best local craft makers and designers from the South West region have been carefully selected to showcase their unique, high-quality gifts.
Over 400,000 people attended last year’s event, with a direct spend at the Market of over £7 million and an associated spend in the Market and across the city of over £30 million. Last year’s Market saw the biggest increase in staying visitors in its history, with a 4% increase in stays of one night or more in the city versus in 2017.
In 2018, Bath Christmas Market also dedicated one chalet per day to a local charity for the duration of the event, with the 18 charities collectively raising more than £10,000. This year, there will be two charity chalets at the Market, meaning that 36 local charities will be able to raise funds and build awareness of their causes.
Following the win, Visit Bath’s Head of Events Mick Heath said, “we are extremely honoured to be receiving such a prestigious award. The whole Bath Christmas Market community is earnestly grateful for the recognition of the hard work and dedication that goes into making the event a Gold winner”.
Following the Bristol Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards, the finalists for the South West Tourism Awards will be announced over the coming months, with the awards ceremony taking place on 6th February 2020 in Exeter Cathedral.
The best of the best will then be selected to represent the South West at the VisitEngland Awards, which will take place on 20th June 2020.
Bath Christmas Market’s Gold award adds another accolade to the event’s list of awards, which includes Event of the Year at the National Outdoor Event Association (NOEA) in 2017, the Bath Life Award for Best Event in 2017, and more recently, two wins at the Bath Business Improvement District’s 2019 Business Awards, the Prosperous Award, for being an initiative that has led to a significant improvement in business results or has helped others to achieve success, and the 2019 Bath BID Awards Champion accolade.