London: London's iconic Tower Bridge has won a coveted gold accolade in Visit England's excellence awards, it was announced.
The exhibition at the bridge over the River Thames gives tourists the chance to experience panoramic views of London from a high-level walkway with a glass floor, as well as visit the drawbridge's Victorian engine room, reports Xinhua news agency.
The tourist attraction was one of 26 Gold winners in Visit England's 2021 awards, which also give accolades for hidden gems, the best-told stories, quality of welcome and food quality.
The awards are based on the scores gained by tourist attractions in their annual assessments by VisitEngland, which were nevertheless delayed this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The latest forecasts by VisitBritain show that domestic spending on tourism is estimated at 51.4 billion pounds ($70 billion) this year, only a little more than half the amount spent in 2019 before the pandemic struck.
A spokesperson for VisitBritain said: "Last year alone saw about two-thirds of the value wiped off the domestic tourism industry in Britain, a 58 billion pound loss to the economy."
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: "Now more than ever we need these attractions to encourage and remind us to get out and explore the amazing tourism on offer across England, driving recovery and economic benefits through the regions."
Other Gold award winners included the King Richard III visitor centre in Leicester, the National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket, Chester Zoo, Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, the World War II code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park, the National Arboretum at Tetbury, the World of Wedgwood (pottery), and for chocolate lovers, Cadbury World in Birmingham.