7 February 2020
The Quality in Tourism team were out celebrating with the best from the South West last night (6 February) at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards. Held at the stunning Exeter Cathedral with a captivating light show, the annual celebration played host to over 374 guests.
Over 107 different awards were presented on the night, following a rigorous judging process in which a record 773 entries were considered. The night opened with a ‘Haka’ from the children of Ilsington CofE Primary School and from the Very Reverend Jonathan Greener, Dean of Exeter on how the Cathedral plays a central role within the local community.
There was a special Outstanding Contribution award given to Martin Cox, Director of West Dorset Leisure Holidays, in recognition of his decades of support and innovation for the holiday park sector, Dorset and the wider South West region.
Winners were spread across the entire region from Cornwall in the west, to Wiltshire and Dorset in the east and up to Gloucestershire in the north. 559 entrants were visited by a team of 50 mystery shoppers. Entry into the awards is free, all entrants receive valuable feedback from the judging process, which is one of the reasons cited as a top reason for taking part.
Top performers in matching categories will now go on to be nominated for the national VisitEngland Awards, with the potential to become national winners in summer 2020.
Awards organiser, Robin Barker of Services for Tourism, said: “I never cease to be amazed by the innovation, dedication and imagination of our tourism businesses – not to mention their sheer hard work. It’s humbling to be part of this and I’d like to add my congratulations to all the winners.”
Quality in Tourism proudly sponsored the best B&B of the Year category with huge congratulations to Gold winners; The 25 Boutique B&B, Devon. Congratulations to the other winners in our category
Silver – Trevose Harbour House, Cornwall
Bronze – Pentillie Castle & Estate, Cornwall & Yarner House, Devon
Commended – Driftwood B&B, Devon & The Old Stables Bed & Breakfast, Somerset
Deborah Heather, Director of Quality in Tourism says "I am always so encouraged by the passion, innovation and flair of the people within this industry. As part of the judging team, as well as being a huge supporter of the awards across the South West, we see such a range of properties on a daily basis. It's fantastic to work with businesses to help identify areas for improvement and then follow the story to watch it come to fruition. Huge congratulations to all of the winners and finalists - the competition was tough."