South West Excels in National Awards
A stunning 18 of the Finalist places in this year’s national VisitEngland awards have been taken by tourism businesses from the South West, making it a record year for the region and cementing the South West’s place as England’s pre-eminent tourism destination.
67 Finalists have just been announced for the Visit England awards, and with 18 of these from the South West there’s a clear message about the quality of The South West tourism experience.
The Visit England awards link with the South West Tourism Excellence Awards which held its regional awards ceremony at Eden Project on 8th February. This followed a rigorous selection process, including judging of over 300 entries from across the South West with many of them winning also in the Cornwall Tourism Awards and Devon Tourism Awards. Since January, the regional entries have been pitted against further entries from across the country, with 14 entries selected as Finalists representing the South West at the VisitEngland awards night in Manchester on 20th May. These are joined by 2 winners from the Bristol Hospitality Awards, 1 from the Cotswold awards and 1 from Wiltshire to make the total of 18 from the region. All of them are guaranteed to receive a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended Award.
Devon boasts 5 finalists, including the Arundell Arms Hotel in the Business Tourism category, the first time the South West has ever seen a finalist in this important sector. Other Devon finalists are Calvert Trust Exmoor in the Access for All category, Oakdown amongst the Holiday Parks, The Salty Monk in the B&B category and Gidleigh Park amongst Small Hotels.
Cornwall has 6 finalists, with The Rashleigh Arms selected in the new ‘Tourism Pub’ category, alongside Pendragon Country House amongst the B&Bs, The Scarlet in the Small Hotels, Trethem Mill in the Holiday Parks, Bosinver Farm Cottages in the Self Catering sector and Bedruthan Hotel & Spa in the Large Hotels.
Yeovilton Air Day represents Somerset as a finalist in the Tourism Experience category alongside Wiltshire’s Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival, whilst Gloucester Tourism Information Centre makes the final list again having won a national silver in 2011. The Roman Baths in Bath complete the South West representation as a finalist amongst the Large Attractions.
Chairman of the South West judging panel, Alistair Handyside, says: “Eighteen finalists in the VisitEngland National Tourism Awards is a brilliant result for the South West, and will help maintain our position as the country’s number one holiday destination. Our congratulations to them all and we will be rooting for you on awards night on the 20th May.”
Robin Barker, from awards organisers Services for Tourism, comments: “The South West awards scheme goes from strength to strength, and there’s no doubt that the local & regional winners have taken every chance to ‘hone’ their entry and product as they have gone through the awards phases. One of our annual ambitions is to showcase the quality that this region offers, and with so many of our winners going on to National success we will achieve just that. We will have to wait until the 20th May to find out what they’ve won, but they are all worthy ambassadors for the region and I wish them all my congratulations and best wishes.”
See below for list of finalists from the South West:
ACCESS FOR ALL AWARD
- Calvert Trust Exmoor, Devon www.calvert-trust.org.uk/exmoor
BED & BREAKFAST / GUEST ACCOMMODATION OF THE YEAR
- Pendragon Country House, Cornwall www.pendragoncountryhouse.com
- The Salty Monk Restaurant with Rooms, Devon www.saltymonk.co.uk
- Fern Cottage Bed and Breakfast, South Gloucestershire
www.ferncottagebedandbreakfast.co.uk (nominee from Bristol Hospitality Awards)
BUSINESS TOURISM AWARD
- Arundell Arms Hotel, Devon www.arundellarms.co.uk
HOLIDAY PARK / VILLAGE OF THE YEAR
- Oakdown Country Holiday Park, Devon www.oakdown.co.uk
- Trethem Mill Touring Park, Cornwall www.trethem.com
LARGE HOTEL OF THE YEAR
- Bedruthan Hotel & Spa, Cornwall www.bedruthan.com
LARGE VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR
- The Roman Baths, Bath www.romanbaths.co.uk
SELF CATERING HOLIDAY PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
- Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall www.bosinver.co.uk
SMALL HOTEL OF THE YEAR
SMALL VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR
- Corinium Museum, Gloucestershire www.coriniummuseum.cotswold.gov.uk (nominee from Cotswold Tourism Awards)
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AWARD
- At-Bristol science centre, Bristol www.at-bristol.org.uk (nominee from Bristol Hospitality Awards)
TOURISM EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR
- RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2012, Somerset www.royalnavy.mod.uk/Yeovilton-Airday
- Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival, Wiltshire www.salisburyfestival.co.uk (direct entrant)
TOURISM PUB OF THE YEAR
- Rashleigh Arms, Cornwall www.rashleigharms.co.uk
VISITOR INFORMATION PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
- Gloucester Tourist Information Centre, Gloucestershire www.thecityofgloucester.co.uk
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