2013/14 TOURISM AWARDS OPEN FOR ENTRIES
This year’s official tourism awards for the South West, Cornwall, and Devon are now open - and businesses are invited to enter by the deadline of 5pm on 21st June!
Fresh from the region’s outstanding success in this year’s national VisitEngland awards, when South West businesses picked up 19 national awards, the 2013/14 cycle has now started and tourism businesses across the region are invited to enter this year’s tourism awards.
The Awards cover the whole South West, including Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bath, Bristol and the Isles of Scilly, along with the linked awards programmes in Devon and Cornwall.
This year sees some changes to the programme. In Cornwall, the Attractions categories have been recast into 5 different categories – Arts, Museums and Maritime, Gardens, Historic and Heritage Properties and Country Houses, Wildlife & Environmental, and Family Fun & Theme Parks whilst there is also a new category for the largest self-contained holiday villages & complexes. The Devon awards see a new Pub category, along with a split of the Attractions category to cater for larger and smaller establishments. The South West awards continues to link with these as well as welcome direct entries from the wider South West.
Another development this year is the inclusion on the Awards websites of more case studies from recent finalists, each of them sharing their top tips on why businesses should enter and how to win:
“Winning an Award leads to other things, more bookings, invitations to take part in other media exercises and a web site logo to set us apart from the competition”, said Joy Raymond of Hedgehog Corner B&B in Devon.
Ian Akeroyd of Cornwall’s Trethem Mill Touring Park commented: “The main reason is that it makes you sit down and really think about what you’re doing within the business and, more importantly, makes you think about what you’re not doing and how this can be rectified. It is also an excellent way of raising your business profile, which can only be a good thing.”
Pippa Griffith from the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life said: “The rewards have been fantastic. Winning two prestigious awards has really helped us to raise our profile and we will continue to use it as good advocacy for the museum for the next 12 months (especially in a region jam-packed with high quality visitor attractions!)”
Frances MacKay of Bath & Wiltshire’s Razorcat Tours added: “Winning Gold was beyond our wildest dreams! We really didn’t think that a small business such as ourselves could compete against larger and more established businesses.”
The Cornwall, Devon and South West awards are all independent, but linked in that winners from the Cornwall and Devon awards are fast-tracked into the South West awards, with South West winners submitted to the national VisitEngland awards. Entry is free, the programmes being funded by a range of sponsors and partners, and all entrants receive feedback.
David Roberts, Head of Business Development at South West title sponsors Source for Business, said: “Source for Business is delighted to be supporting the tourism awards again, with the launch later this week of the 2013/14 awards making it the seventh year that South West Water has been involved. We recognise the critical importance of tourism to the region and both Source for Business and South West Water remain dedicated to partnering the industry in investing for a sustainable future through our specialism in water conservation and management or related activities.”
St Austell Brewery is once again the main sponsor of this year’s Cornwall awards and Marketing & Communications Director Jeremy Mitchell said: “St Austell Brewery is delighted to be the headline sponsor again in 2013. The Cornwall Tourism Awards play a valuable role in celebrating excellence and also inspiring each of us to keep developing and improving our businesses. We are also looking forward to the Awards Dinner which is a brilliant social occasion when people across Cornwall’s hotels, bars, holiday camps, B&Bs and visitor attractions can enjoy a well-earned evening off.”
e-Strategy are delighted to be headline sponsors for the Devon Tourism Awards: Stuart Devlin, Digital Director at e-Strategy, said: “As one of the leading digital marketing agencies in the South West it give us great pride to sponsor such a prestigious event.
“We are delighted to see that this year digital marketing is being given greater weight in the judging process. It is testament to its crucial importance in tourism business success that quality online marketing activity is being recognised in this way. We look forward to celebrating another evening of excellence.”
Awards co-ordinator Robin Barker of Services for Tourism says: “2012 was a tough year for tourism in the South West. The Olympic effect, the difficult economic climate and unsettled weather resulted in a 6% national drop in rural domestic trips and 2% drop in longer domestic breaks. That impact has been felt across the industry, but there’s little doubt that the impact has been the least on businesses that have continued to invest in excellence – in their infrastructure, their people, their marketing, their skills. Those are the kind of businesses that win tourism awards and I invite them all to enter.”
The deadline for entering all three awards schemes is 5pm on Thursday 21st June, but businesses are encouraged to start preparing now and not leave it to the last minute.
Full details of the tourism awards, along with details of how to enter, top tips and entry forms can be found at this site. Details on the Cornwall Tourism Awards are at www.cornwalltourismawards.co.uk and of the Devon Tourism Awards at www.devontourismawards.org.uk
Over a quarter of this year's national VisitEngland awards went to tourism businesses from England's South West at Monday night's glittering ceremony in Manchester, making it a record year for the region and reinforcing the South West's status as England's pre-eminent tourism destination.
South West picks up a record 18 of the Finalist positions in national Visit England awards.
Downloadable pdfs of articles covering Awards added to Media Coverage page