Chester Zoo has been shortlisted for a national award, which honours the best of English tourism.

The Upton attraction is one of five nominees in the category of Large Visitor Attraction of The Year at the VisitEngland Awards 2016, dubbed the Tourism Oscars.

Chester Zoo's huge new Islands development from above

Managing director Jamie Christon said: “We’re extremely proud to be a finalist of what represents the pinnacle of achievement in the tourism industry in this country.

“As a conservation and education charity it’s very, very pleasing for us to be recognised for the work we do here at the zoo, as the more successful we are, the more great work we can do to protect highly threatened species all around the world.

“It’s fantastic for the whole of the region that the zoo is such a popular place to visit – there are benefits to Cheshire more widely from the tourists that we help to encourage to the area.”

Sumatran tigers in Chester Zoo's new Islands zone

The zoo is pitted against Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol, Beamish, The Whitworth in Manchester and The Living Museum of the North in County Durham.

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence stretch back more than 25 years and celebrate the very best in quality and innovation in the tourism industry, recognising businesses that incorporate best practice and demonstrate excellence in customer service.

Outside of Monsoon Forest, the UK's biggest ever indoor zoological building

CEO of VisitBritain and VisitEngland Sally Balcombe added:“Awards for Excellence finalists exemplify outstanding tourism talent and distinguished businesses throughout England. There’s absolutely no doubt those shortlisted are a representatives of the best in the industry who place delivering an unforgettable experience to visitors in England at the heart of their business operations.”

Inside Monsoon Forest, part of Chester Zoo's new Islands zone

The winners of the will be announced at an ceremony on Tuesday, March 8 at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, during English Tourism Week.