Leading tourism businesses from across South West England were celebrating in style last night (Thursday 23 March) as over 90 awards were presented at the 2022/23 South West Tourism Excellence Awards.
The annual event was the culmination of 12 months of entry, judging and feedback as nearly 300 winners, supporters and tourism leaders celebrated at Eden Project for the first time in 10 years.
482 entries were submitted from across the region including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bath, Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with many winning in county schemes in Cornwall, Bristol, Bath and Somerset, Dorset and Devon before being selected for the regional scheme.
The Awards, which themselves retained their ‘Outstanding’ accreditation in the Awards Trust Mark scheme, are the culmination of 11 months of evidence gathering, online entry, judging and county awards. In what has been another difficult year for many in the industry they are recognised for their rigour and independence of judging with many winners progressing on to the national VisitEngland awards, in which the South West has been top-performing region for over 5 years.
All forms of hospitality business were amongst the winners, with cafes, pubs, watersports schools and falconries all celebrating alongside attractions, camping and glamping sites, holiday parks, B&Bs, cottages and hotels.
Steve Hayfield, Customer Experience and Delivery Director at headline sponsor South West Water, said: “We are proud to be continuing our relationship with the South West Tourism Awards, recognising that a thriving tourism industry is essential to the economic wellbeing of our beautiful region. Once again we are delighted to celebrate the many outstanding businesses across our region.
“We know our water environment is vital to both locals and visitors alike, and over the last year our region has faced a significant challenge around water resources, which our customers and communities have helped us to tackle head on.
“Our Save Every Drop campaign is focused on how customers, businesses and visitors to the region can help to bring our precious water supplies back on track and we thank everyone in our region for the crucial role they have played in helping us do that. We hope to keep working together as we strive to ensure resilient water supplies, and continue to support the needs of the region in the future.”
Robin Barker, Director of Services for Tourism Ltd, who manage the Awards, added: “What a delight to be in the company of the region’s best, and at one of our most iconic venues. The conversations and celebrations were a real joy – I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!”
Co-Director Nell Barrington added: “It was fantastic to see so much happiness and celebration among the best business in South West England after another difficult year for hospitality and tourism, congratulations to them all.”
The full list of Winners and Commended entrants can be found here