27 June 2002

Farm Stay UK has won a top award in a prestigious national tourism competition.

The marketing consortium has collected a Tourism Catey from farmers weeklys sister publication Caterer and Hotelkeeper.

It was praised for persuading tourists from the UK and abroad to spend their money in this country, raising the profile of British hospitality and improving standards and professionalism.

"The fact that they bounced back at the end of a dreadful period for rural businesses last year makes this a special award for resilience," said Judge Linda Astbury, manager of the RACs hotel services.

"Its wonderful news," said Farm Stay UK chief executive Nigel Embry. "It says to everyone at local level that the public is noticing what you are doing."

And Mr Embry praised the hard work and dedication of farming members in the face of the recent tough times. "There are no millionaires in our business and there are no 40-hour weeks. But the initiative of our members is tremendous."