Over 100 Tourism businesses from across the South West have been named amongst the Finalists of this year’s Tourism Awards, which saw a record 773 entries from the region including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bath, Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The Awards themselves won a national accolade earlier in 2019, achieving the Gold accolade in the Awards Trust Mark scheme for the quality and independence of judging. Those principles have applied to this year’s awards with 50 judges spending weeks poring over entry forms, websites, social media and review sites, as well as carrying out 559 business visits, most of them unannounced mystery visits. Reports and recommendations were then submitted to an independent panel which made the final decisions.
The awards have seen a further increase in entries since 2018, reflecting their importance to entrants in showcasing the quality of their offering and as well as giving benchmark ideas for future improvements.
Surveys of entrants regularly give “To get independent feedback / benchmarking for my business” as a top reason for taking part.
The awards will be presented at a black tie dinner in Exeter Cathedral on 6th February, a return to one of the region’s largest and most popular venues, when 400+ of the South West’s most excellent tourism businessespeople will gather to receive their trophies.
Up to five finalists have been announced in each category, but all will have to wait until 6th February to learn whether they have won Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies. Some will also be nominated to represent the South West in the national VisitEngland awards.
Jeremy Mitchell, marketing and communications director at headline sponsors St Austell Brewery says: “We’re delighted to sponsor this year’s South West Tourism Awards - an annual celebration of excellence in tourism across the region. From Cornwall, to Bath, the West Country has so many businesses and individuals that deserve to be recognised for their outstanding contribution to tourism and world-class hospitality. “Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists.”
Robin Barker, director of Services for Tourism Ltd, who manage the Awards, commented: “Our team members continue to be humbled by the excellence and ambition we see amongst our leading tourism businesses. They continue to invest, innovate and improve – and I offer them all our congratulations.”
The Awards hashtag is #SWTAwards