Lancaster University Management School backs new Family Business Tourism Award

A group of people from Brickhouse cheer and smile along with Dr Leighanne Higgins from Lancaster University Management School, after winning at the 2022 Lancashire Tourism Awards

Lancaster University Management School’s family business experts have used their specialist knowledge to help create of a new award recognising the region’s tourism and hospitality firms.

The Family Owned/Run Business Award will be awarded for the first time at the 2023 Lancashire Tourism Awards. It has been created by event organisers Marketing Lancashire in partnership with the Centre for Family Business in Lancaster University Management School (LUMS).

The annual Lancashire Tourism Awards celebrate the £3.51billion contribution that the sector makes to the local economy, as well as the people and businesses that make it such a success.

The new Family Owned/Run Business Award is one of 24 awards recognising excellence in tourism and hospitality, which are now open for applications; the winners will be announced at the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2023, to be held at Blackburn’s King George’s Hall on Tuesday, February 6th, 2024.

LUMS and Marketing Lancashire believe the county has a wealth of diverse family-run businesses across the sector, that deserve to be recognised for their often lifelong commitment to tourism in the county; from family hotels whose heritage and experience have attracted loyal visitors over many years, to families entering the industry with the intention of building a sustainable tourism event, attraction or business for future generations of visitors.

Dr Allan Discua Cruz, Director of the Centre for Family Business, said: “Lancashire’s tourism industry benefits from the experiences, products, and services that many family businesses provide. Each of these businesses has its own story to tell, achievements to celebrate, and challenges to be overcome.

“The Centre for Family Business has worked with many such companies to help them tackle important issues, and the new Family Business Award is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the families who help to make our county such a special place for visitors.”

This year, as well as the new Family Owned/Run Business Award, LUMS is supporting another three award categories: the Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award, the Resilience & Innovation Award, and the Ethical Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award – the latter through the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business.

Professor Claire Leitch, Executive Dean of Lancaster University Management School, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Lancashire Tourism Awards. As a School, we are committed to working with businesses across Lancashire and the North West, helping them to succeed, passing on our knowledge and learning from their vast wealth of experiences.

“Through sponsoring the Sustainability; Accessibility; and Resilience Awards and working with Marketing Lancashire to introduce the new Family Business Award, we can shed light on those companies who are achieving success in areas that are important not just to themselves but to the wider community.

“We look forward to meeting businesses operating across the region as part of the judging process, and continuing to build valuable relationships that can benefit us all.”

All qualifying tourism and hospitality businesses in Lancashire who wish to apply, must do so before midnight on Sunday, July 16th. The criteria for entry and application forms for all 24 awards categories can be found on

Maria Moriarty-Eames, Head of Partnership at Marketing Lancashire said; “We have worked closely with Lancaster University Management School and have built a strategic and meaningful partnership and we are especially pleased to have developed the new category for family businesses with them this year.

“We probably all know of a tourism business where the whole family sometimes quietly, often seamlessly to the outside world, combine their individual skills to deliver excellence. This new award aims to bring these unique, successful family dynamics to the fore and to give them the attention they deserve.

“We thank Lancaster University for supporting the new Family Owned/Run Tourism Business Award and look forward to meeting a whole host of talented Lancashire families committed to a future in Lancashire tourism.”

For more details on the Lancashire Tourism Awards, visit

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