Award Categories

Below are short descriptions of the 2019/20 awards categories. There are some new awards and some changes to criteria with full details available on the respective entry forms. Remember, there may well be more than one category in which you can enter.

If you have won gold in the same category in the South West for two or more years, we’d advise considering a different category, sponsoring a catgory or offering to help us with judging.

We may merge or split categories depending on entries.  We also reserve the right to move an entry into a different category should we consider it a better fit, though we will consult with you before doing this.

Categories marked (VE) are those also included in the national VisitEngland Awards, into which winners from these awards may progress.  Some VisitEngland categories combine 2 or 3 of listed categories into one.

 

Customer Service Superstar Award - Recognises individuals or small teams of up to 4 people working in the tourist industry that continually go above and beyond, offering outstanding customer service to visitors. It is intended primarily for customer facing ‘unsung heroes’ and not for managers or owners, except for those in very small businesses. Nominations may be from another staff member, a member of the public, by our own mystery visitors or by themselves.

Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award - This award, which is not always presented, is for an individual, group or organisation that has made a significant contribution to the tourism industry in the area.  It could be someone who has represented the region in a voluntary role, a visionary who has effected major change, a sector that supports the industry in some way or perhaps someone who has made a significant difference to large numbers of people working in the industry.  This award is open to third party nominations (ie not self-nomination) including nominations from judges, the judging panel and the general public.  There are no entry forms for this award; nominations with supporting evidence should be sent to awards@services4tourism.co.uk

 

Business Events Venue of the Year (VE) - Recognises business events venues that demonstrate an excellent understanding of the market, exceeding the expectations of their clients and have a strategic plan for future development within this area, with clear goals.

Tourism Event/Festival of the Year - Recognises providers of truly memorable and immersive tourism events.  Events should make a contribution to the visitor economy with a significant proportion of business generated by people visiting from outside the local area eg attendance/participation figures likely to be in excess of 5000. (Judges will endeavour to visit the Event if timing allows so if you plan on entering this category please email awards@services4tourism.co.uk without delay).

Visitor Information Service of the Year - This award is for visitor information providers that offer an exceptional standard of service and appropriate information.  This should be done through face to face contact as well as utilising social media and information technology but must include responding to individual enquiries rather than just information provision. 

Wedding Venue of the Year (NEW) - Recognises wedding venues that attract visitors to the region and demonstrate an excellent understanding of the market, exceeding the expectations of their clients.

Access and Inclusive Tourism Award (VE) - Recognises tourism businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences for everyone, particularly those with accessibility requirements, and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business.

Dog Friendly Business of the Year - Recognises providers of truly memorable experiences for dogs and their human companions.

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award (VE) - Recognises tourism businesses committed to being sustainable, responsible and ethical in how they operate and interact with customers, the wider community and the environment. 

International Tourism Award (VE) - Recognises tourism businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences, particularly for international visitors, and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business.

New Tourism Business Award (VE) - Recognises high performing new tourism businesses, demonstrating excellent understanding of their market, exceeding the expectations of their customers with clear plans for future development.

Tourism Innovation Award - Recognises innovative developments by new or existing tourism businesses designed to increase productivity and profitability, setting themselves apart from competitors. 

B&B and Guest House of the Year (VE) - Recognises bed & breakfast and guest house businesses providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business.

Glamping Business and Alternative Accommodation of the Year (VE) - Recognises glamping and alternative accommodation sites providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. This category is for businesses where glamping is the main accommodation offer - not an add-on to a campsite or holiday park.  Sites with yurts, tepees, shepherd’s huts, safari tents, romany caravans and similar should enter this category.

Holiday Park of the Year (VE) - Recognises holiday parks and villages providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. For holiday parks, villages and resorts, likely to have a mix of caravan holiday homes, lodges, chalets and touring and camping pitches, as well as leisure facilities and food and drink outlets.

Large Hotel of the Year (VE) - Recognises full service hotels providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. (Offers a minimum of 35 bedrooms. However, a business with fewer than 35 bedrooms can apply if it is a full-service hotel with extensive facilities).

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year (VE) - Recognises self catering accommodation businesses providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. (Businesses whose main offer is self catering accommodation including cottages, houses, historic properties (or part thereof), holiday boats, barn conversions, apartments and serviced apartments etc).

Small Hotel of the Year (VE) - Recognises small serviced accommodation businesses providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. (Usually offers between 12 and 35 bedrooms. However, serviced accommodation businesses with fewer than 12 or more than 35 bedrooms can apply if they consider themselves appropriate for this category).

Touring Camping and Caravanning Park of the Year (VE) - Recognises touring parks providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business.  This category is for parks where the main provision is for touring caravans, motor homes and camping with few or no pitches occupied by caravan holiday homes or lodges.

Active and Sporting Experience of the Year (VE) - Recognises providers of truly memorable and immersive active and sporting activities for visitors to participate in.

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year (VE) - Recognises large visitor attraction businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. (Attracts 75,000 visitors or more per year or employs more than 10 full-time equivalent members of staff).

Learning Experience of the Year (VE) - Recognises providers of truly memorable and immersive learning experiences for visitors to participate in.  Examples are guided tours, art schools, pottery classes, cookery schools, wine tasting etc. 

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year (VE) - Recognises small visitor attraction businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. (Attracts 75,000 visitors or fewer per year or employs 10 or fewer full-time equivalent members of staff).

Spa and Wellbeing Experience of the Year (VE) - Recognises providers of truly memorable and immersive spa and wellbeing experiences for visitors to participate in.  Entries are welcome from spas, yoga breaks, health retreats, etc whether standalone or part of another business. 

Café/Tearoom of the Year (VE) - Recognises businesses within the tourism industry that offer food, beverage and service innovation and excellence. Food service businesses including cafés, tea rooms, coffee shops.

Pub of the Year (VE) - Recognises pubs that make a significant contribution to tourism in their area, with a food and drink offering that includes quality locally sourced produce.

Restaurant/Bistro of the Year (VE) - Recognises businesses within the tourism industry that offer food, beverage and service innovation and excellence. Food service businesses including restaurants, hotel restaurants, bistros.