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This year’s South West Tourism Excellence Awards are now closed for entry with the exception of 3 categories which have a later deadline of 31 August:

  • International Visitor Experience – for businesses going the extra mile in welcoming visitors from overseas, maybe through extra staff training, translated websites etc
  • Outstanding Customer Service (including Unsung Hero) – Individuals or teams that continually go above and beyond, offering exceptional customer service to visitors
  • Tourism Event and Festival – for events and festivals that help bring visitors to the area and enhance their stay

After a record year, in which the region’s tourism awards schemes attracted 605 entries with over 135 winners, the 2017/18 awards have been launched and hospitality businesses across the South West are invited to enter.

Many businesses should enter at first in their county schemes, the winners from which will be nominated for the South West awards.  This applies to:

Businesses in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire should enter direct into the South West awards.

2017 builds on the success of the past as well as seeing a few changes. There is a new Guided Tour category for tours on land and water, alongside criteria changes for Hotels, Holiday Parks and Visitor Information Service.  Other categories include Glamping, Self Catering, Dog Friendly, Access & Inclusivity, B&Bs, Spas and Wellbeing, Active & Sporting experience, Artistic, Cultural & Learning Experience, Cafes, Pubs, Restaurants, B&Bs, Attractions, Business Tourism, Customer Service, Sustainable Tourism & Events & Festivals.

The Awards launch follows just days after the South West’s success in the final event of the 2016/17 awards when the region had 6 winners in the national VisitEngland awards – more than any other region (by a margin). See TOP REGION for details.

Feedback from 2016 awards entrants has been used to further develop and refine the awards process, with entrants highlighting that their main reason for taking part was to help raise the quality of their businesses and for the free feedback provided. This has led to additional workshops being held for entrants.

Richard Stanbrook, Director of South West Water Business, said: South West Water Business is fully committed to the prosperity of the tourism industry and helping businesses maximise their potential, with long-term sustainability at their heart.  From Bristol to Newquay, it’s clear to see the tourism industry in the South West is flourishing, so we’re thrilled to be supporting the Tourism Awards once more.  With so much hard work, innovation and determination being invested in the region, we eagerly anticipate the standard of entries this year to be higher than ever and look forward to celebrating another fantastic year for South West businesses.” 

Organiser of the awards Robin Barker says: “Like any good tourism business the Awards continue to evolve and develop and this year is no exception.  Last year saw record entries as well as wide-ranging feedback, and we look forward to working closely with entrants in helping them stay at the forefront of quality tourism.”

The deadline for entering the remaining 3 categories is midnight on 31st August, but businesses are encouraged to start preparing now and not leave it to the last minute.  Entry is free, the programmes being funded by a range of sponsors and partners, and all entrants receive feedback.

To enter see the How to Enter 

Please follow us on Twitter at @SWTourismAwards

Facebook: www.facebook.com/swtourismawards/