South West Tourism Awards
PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 June 2014
Businesses have just a few days left to enter this year's official tourism awards for the South West.
Covering Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bath, Bristol and the Isles of Scilly, along with the linked awards programmes in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall, categories in this year’s South West Tourism Awards include: Pubs and Restaurants; B&Bs; Hotels; Attractions; Business Tourism; Holiday Parks and Self-Catering, alongside generic awards for Customer Service; Accessibility; Tourism Information and Sustainability.
Entrants have until midnight on 29 June to submit their applications. Although organisers have recently announced an extension of one-week to anyone who notifies their intention to enter by Sunday (29).
Awards organiser, Robin Barker of Services for Tourism says: “Of all the jobs I’ve done in tourism, this is the most gratifying. Seeing tourism businesses getting better and better each year, the commitment they make to being excellent, the delight on their faces on awards night, and the team spirit that is gained; it’s great to see that we’re making such a difference.”
The 2014/15 year sees many changes to the programme. In Cornwall and Devon there are new categories for Dog Friendly Accommodation and Access for All and the Holiday Park sector sees new categories in both Devon and Cornwall.
Another development this year is the inclusion on the Awards websites of new case studies from recent finalists, each of them sharing their top tips on why businesses should enter and how to win:
“Winning an Award leads to other things, more bookings, invitations to take part in other media exercises and a web site logo to set us apart from the competition,” says Joy Raymond of Hedgehog Corner B&B in Axminster, Devon.
“This was the first time we have entered the tourism awards and we are so glad we did. Winning the awards provided great PR coverage and are a fantastic accolade for our restaurants,” adds Lucy Lomas from River Cottage, Devon.
The Cornwall, Dorset, Devon and South West awards are all independent, but allow winners to be fast-tracked into the South West awards, with South West winners submitted to the national VisitEngland awards. Entry is free, with the programmes being funded by a range of sponsors and partners. All entrants receive feedback.
John Crouch, marketing manager of headline sponsors, Source for Business, says: “Source for Business is delighted to be the title sponsors of the South West Tourism excellence Awards once again supporting this vibrant and sustainable sector. Speaking from first-hand experience I can’t speak highly enough of the quality our hotels, campsites and attractions deliver and the efforts they make into making visits special.”