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Highly Commended at REYTAGoole’s Lowther Hotel has been judged as ‘Highly Commended’ in this year’s Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards (REYTAs).

Hull and East Yorkshire’s very own tourism “Oscars” culminated in an awards evening attended by more than 500 people at the Spa in Bridlington on Thursday, March 30th – a new record for the event.

There were record entries too, the eighth year running they have organised by Visit Hull and Easy Yorkshire (VHEY).

Andy Grey, VHEY’s tourism manager described it as “a remarkable event to celebrate a remarkable industry which contributes over £797 million annually to the Hull and East Yorkshire economy and provides employment for over 17,000 people”.

The Lowther Hotel, which is now England’s oldest hotel, faced stiff competition in the Remarkable Hotel competition, which was won by the Hallmark Hotel at North Ferriby. However, the judges picked out the hotel, based on Aire Street as highly commended.

Commenting on their highly commended award, the judges said about the Lowther hotel: “Beautifully restored gem. The judges were hard pressed to come up with a winner for this category with two hotels having the smallest of margins.”

Speaking after the awards, Julie and Howard Duckworth, who own and run the hotel, said they were delighted with the highly commended award, and had never expected to win. Julie said “We never expected to be highly commended when we were up against such big hotels, run by big companies, we’re only a small place – but we do punch above our weight!” The couple said that the award was proof that there was a tourism industry to be created in Goole – with the area’s unique industrial heritage and its accessible working port.

Howard said: “I would estimate there is a potential for 60-80 tourism jobs in the town.” Julie added: “If we could get more people into Goole, it would benefit all the businesses in the town. If people came here they would see what we have to offer – they would see junction 36 – and new businesses might become more interested in moving here. Above all, we need local people to start singing the praise of Goole, people here should be proud of where they come from, The town has a hell of a history – a proud history – and they should be making the most of that.”