The Rhyl Air Show was among the highflyers at a glittering ceremony to celebrate a record year in the North Wales tourism industry.
The popular event was named as the Magnificent Crowd Puller for events which attract more than 7,500 people when it was honoured at the Go North Wales Tourism Awards.
Since the two-event was launched in 2009 it has gone from strength to strength and attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the seaside resort every August.
According to organisers North Wales Tourism, events like the air show are the lifeblood of the booming visitor economy.
Revenue from tourism had rocketed to £3.2 billion, visitor numbers were at an all-time high and £100 million of investment was being ploughed into the region to make it an even more attractive destination.
This year’s Rhyl Air Show was another resounding success which saw the debut of the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon display team.
The RAF sent their £125m fighter jets to the free festival to show off their “mind blowing display of speed, power and agility”.
A Spitfire, Hurricane and a Lancaster Bomber also featured. They formed a “Battle of Britain Memorial Flight“, before the twin-engine typhoon display above on Rhyl Prominade.
After the presentation, Denbighshire Leisure’s Gwyn Hughes said the award was a fantastic way to recognise an event lead by a strong organising team and an army of volunteers.
He added: “I think this year’s festival is widely recognised as our best yet. Everyone worked incredibly hard and we have to thank our volunteers and stakeholders for all their support and their invaluable contributions year in and year out.”
The annual Oscars-style event at Venue Cymru in Llandudno was hosted by Heart North & Mid Wales presenters Lois Cernyw and Russ Morris while the trophies presented to the winners were made by the British Ironworks.
Jim Jones, the managing director of North Wales Tourism which represents more than 1,500 members, said: “The sheer volume and quality of entries this year has underlined why North Wales is increasingly being recognised as a truly world class destination.
“I would like to congratulate all the winners but I would also like to stress that all the nominees have played an absolutely vital role in wat has been a phenomenally successful year for tourism in North Wales.
“This event really showcases the very best of North Wales and we have seen so many amazing entries.
“It is a clear indication to me that the quality of the tourism offer here is improving every year.
“We already had the raw material in the form of our breath-taking scenery and stunning coastline and now we have the infrastructure to match.
“We are not resting on our laurels though. The competition will not stand still so we must always strive to get better year on year.”
The Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas, was delighted to be there.
He said: “I’m delighted to join the north Wales tourism industry in celebrating the best of what the area has to offer – the winners and finalists for the awards do an exceptional job of putting Wales on the map and giving people reasons to choose Wales as a holiday destination. Da iawn bawb – Llongyfarchiadau.”