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Deadlines for this year's official tourism awards for Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and the South West have seen a short extension as the awards websites receive record 13,475 views.

With judging of this year’s tourism awards due to start in July, tourism businesses across the region are being offered a short extension until 19th June for submitting their entries, alongside three further extensions for selected categories and counties:

  • There is a one week extension until 19th June for submitting or registering entries.  Anyone registering their intention to enter before midnight on Friday 19th June will be offered a further extension until Friday 26th June.
  • For the Unsung Hero & Tourism Event and Festival categories there is a later deadline of Friday 28 August.
  • For businesses in Somerset, Bath, Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, for whom there isn’t a county scheme, there is an across-the-board extension of the deadline until midnight on Friday 10th July.

The awards have seen record entries and successes over the past few years, with 425 entries in 2014.  Entry into the Cornwall, Devon, Dorset or South West awards not only leads to the chance of becoming a regional winner, but can also lead to success in the national Visit England awards.  Businesses seeking a national accolade must first enter their local awards which act as a ‘heat’ for the national awards.                                                                                 

Awards organizer Robin Barker of Services for Tourism said: “We are again seeing record interest in the awards with visits to the award websites hitting new highs – they have seen 5,458 unique visitors since 1st April and over 13,745 page views.  This year’s awards see many changes with new categories such as the International Visitor Experience award as well as new category splits and criteria.  We are always keen to secure as many top entries as possible, as well as to secure the region’s top businesses as sponsors.”

The Unsung Hero award is unlike other categories, being an opportunity for visitors, businesses and other third parties to nominate individuals who have excelled in delivering outstanding service.  The Tourism Event award is open to those events that are so significant in attracting visitors to the area such as literary festivals, balloon fiestas, maritime events, etc. The new International Visitor Experience category is designed to recognize those businesses that bring in significant numbers of visitors from overseas, and offer a product to match.

The awards are free to enter, with up to 24 categories to choose from ranging from pub, spa, learning experience, attraction, B&B, event, activity, hotel, holiday park and self catering holiday to awards for international tourism, customer service, access, sustainable tourism, being dog friendly, wildlife friendly and venues. South West winners go on to represent the region at the national Visit England awards.

Full details of the tourism awards, along with details of how to enter, top tips and entry forms can be found at the four awards websites:

Cornwall Tourism Awards – www.cornwalltourismawards.org.uk

Devon Tourism Awards – www.devontourismawards.org.uk

Dorset Tourism Awards – www.dorsettourismawards.org.uk

South West Tourism Excellence Awards – www.southwesttourismawards.org.uk