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Record 19 national awards taken by South West finalists

73 Finalists were presented VisitEngland awards, and with 19 of these from the South West there’s a clear message about the quality of The South West visitor 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 Monday 20th May. These are joined by 1 special award winner, 2 winners from the Bristol Hospitality Awards, 1 from the Cotswold awards and 1 from Wiltshire to make the total of 19 from the region.

The top Gold award went to Devon’s Gidleigh Park in the Small Hotel category, whilst Kents Cavern’s Clare Preece took the award for Tourism Superstar, having been a winner in both the Devon and South West awards.

Silver awards went to Cornwall’s Bedruthan Hotel & Spa, Pendragon Country House and Trethem Mill Touring Park, alongside Bath’s Roman Baths and Gloucestershire’s Corinium Museum.

Bronze winners were Devon’s Arundell Arms Hotel and Salty Monk Restaurant with Rooms, together with Somerset’s  RNAS Yeovilton Air Day.

Also winners on the night were 9 finalists picking up Highly Commended accolades.  From Cornwall there was Bosinver Farm Cottages, The Rashleigh Arms & The Scarlet, from Devon there was Calvert Trust Exmoor  & Oakdown Country Holiday Park, joined by Bristol’s Fern Cottage B&B and At-Bristol, Gloucester Tourism Information Centre  and Wiltshire’s Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival.

Chairman of the South West judging panel, Alistair Handyside, said: “Once again the tourism businesses in the South West have excelled at the national VisitEngland Awards. The country’s most popular and diverse region for tourism continues to downplay the talk of doom and gloom, and continues to invest in the visitor experience. This years’ award winners are fabulous examples of what is on offer for visitors to the South West this summer.”

Dave Roberts, from South West headline sponsors Source for Business, said: “Many congratulations to all the South West’s national winners.  To take over a quarter of the national accolades is clear proof of the quality and diversity of the South West visitor experience and we’re delighted to see the ongoing focus both on delivering customer delight and on investing in businesses for the long term.

“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.”

Robin Barker, from awards organisers Services for Tourism, commented: “This is the end of the year-round awards cycle and I offer my hearty congratulations to all the winners, many of whom first entered last spring and have since been winners in county awards and then the South West awards.  They are all worthy ambassadors for the region.  As one cycle ends another begins, and we look forward to seeing another crop of winners in the 2013/14 awards, which launch later this week.”

See below for list of winners from the South West:

TOURISM SUPERSTAR

ACCESS FOR ALL AWARD

BED & BREAKFAST / GUEST ACCOMMODATION OF THE YEAR

BUSINESS TOURISM AWARD

CARAVAN HOLIDAY PARK / VILLAGE OF THE YEAR

LARGE HOTEL OF THE YEAR

LARGE VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR

SELF CATERING HOLIDAY PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

SMALL HOTEL OF THE YEAR

SMALL VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AWARD

  • At-Bristol science centre, Bristol www.at-bristol.org.uk (nominee from Bristol Hospitality Awards) HIGHLY COMMENDED

TOURISM EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR

TOURISM PUB OF THE YEAR

VISITOR INFORMATION PROVIDER OF THE YEAR