Mike James from local food tour company Savouring Bath has been nominated by Visit West for Visit England’s annual Tourism Superstar competition which recognises and celebrates the dedication and passion of those in the industry who have gone the extra mile to ensure tourists in England have an unforgettable visitor experience.
This year the award – run in partnership with The Daily Mirror newspaper – will also recognise the efforts made in the face of the pandemic.
Mike has been running artisan food tours since Savouring Bath started, supporting and collaborating with many businesses across the city. When the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns took hold, Mike refunded cancelled bookings and then looked to how he could support the local producers and suppliers that he worked with. He began making deliveries for Thoughtful Bakery in Bath to deliver bread to customers who were isolating at home and volunteered and worked for a number of artisans in the city: packing treats at a chocolatier and working at a local cheese shop.
This also meant that he learned a lot about the businesses and processes involved in each business, increasing his knowledge, and making his tours more interesting. Since tours restarted in May 2021 Mike has doubled the number of bookings and has developed a new cheese tour which launched last year.
Jon Chamberlain, Head of Marketing for Visit West said, “We are delighted that Mike has been short-listed as one of the finalists in this year’s Tourism Superstar competition. He is a fantastic ambassador for Bath and the excellent food and drink scene you can find here. Mike showcases the city through its food, but not just the finished product – he shines a light on the people and the stories behind the taste and has made a real success story out of Savouring Bath.”
As well as championing local artisans, Mike is hugely enthusiastic and passionate about the city enhancing Bath’s reputation as a great destination for food and drink. This shines through on his tours, resulting in many excellent reviews for Savouring Bath which often mention Mike personally.
Mike added, “If I win it will actually be ‘us’ as a city that wins – I couldn’t do what I do without the combination of fantastic local food and drink, the artisans that bring it to the public and the visitors who come to the city to experience it.”
Voting for Tourism Superstar began on 14th February and will close on 24th March – to vote click here.
The winner will be announced by The Mirror on 26th March.