MORE than 20 businesses and visitor attractions have been shortlisted for the Worcestershire Welcome Awards 2012. Malvern Theatres has been nominated in three of the 10 categories, while Cotswold Conference Centre, Broadway, Pear Tree Catering, which operates the Orchard Cafe at the Hive in Worcester, Cob House Fisheries, Wichenford and Severn Valley Railway , Kidderminster, have all been nominated in two each.

A panel of independent judges will assess each finalist against a list of criteria and the winners will be announced at the Worcestershire Welcome Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 18, from 2pm at Sixways , Worcester,following Worcestershire Expo. The full shortlist is: Visitor attraction of the year: Malvern Theatres, Severn Valley Railway and Cob House Fisheries, Wichenford.

Best tourism event and festival award: Worcestershire Literary Festival, Worcester Festival and Pershore Plum Festival .

Hotel of the year: Brockencote Hall, Chaddesley Corbett, Cottage in the Wood, Malvern and the Elms Hotel and Spa, Abberley, near Worcester.

Bed and breakfast / guest accommodation of the year: Kateshill House, Bewdley; Treherne House, Malvern, and Overwood, Bromsgrove.

Self-catering holiday of the year: Forest View Retreat, near Kidderminster; the Malvern Retreat, Malvern, and Pitlands Farm, Clifton upon Teme.

Business tourism award: Cotswold Conference Centre, Wildwood Rooms, Worcester and Malvern Theatres.

Outstanding customer service award: Bewdley Tourist Information Centre, the Hop Pole Inn, Bewdley, and Pear Tree Catering (the Orchard Cafe / the Hive, Worcester) Sustainable tourism award: The Fold, Bransford ; Cotswold Conference Centre and Malvern Theatres.

Tastes of Worcestershire award: Pear Tree Catering, the Hop Pole Inn and the Greenhouse Cafe at Holloways, Suckley, near Worcester.

Tourism business website of the year: Cob House Fisheries, Malvern Theatres and Severn Valley Railway.