Tourism businesses from across the South West have been named amongst the Finalists of this year’s Tourism Awards, which saw a record 651 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 in the AwardsAwards earlier in 2018, with judges impressed by the rigourous and independent judging, linked to feedback given to all those taking part.  Those principles have continued to apply to this year’s South West awards with over 50 judges spending weeks poring over entry forms, studying website and review sites, looking at use of social media and carrying out 472 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 2017, reflecting their importance to entrants in showcasing the quality of their offering and as well as giving benchmark ideas for future improvements.

As stated by Tracey Bell of Devon-based The Old Kennels: Wow thank you, gosh I feel appreciated! What kind words and helpful ideas. You’ve made my day”. Joanna Kewley of Dorset’s Monkton Wyld park said: “It is so helpful to have an independent assessment and I think we can learn much from your comments” while Dawn White from the Cornish Vegan café reacted with: “OH WOW!  This is the most incredible news and beyond our wildest dreams!”  Maddy from Bath’s Mad Max Tours said: “Your news has kept a smile on my face despite the winter gloom.”  

The awards will be presented at a black tie dinner at Aerospace Bristol on 7th February, with guests dining under the last Concorde ever to fly, the culmination of a 10 month programme, when 400+ of the South West’s most excellent tourism businesses will gather.  

Up to six finalists have been announced in each category, but all will have to wait until 7th February to learn whether they have won Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies. 

We are a long-time judge and sponsor of the South West Tourism Awards and believe that the sector is a vital part of the region’s economy. The South West’s tourism sector contains a huge amount of talented and innovative businesses who go the extra mile to make sure that visitors to this region have a special holiday and want to return year after year. The businesses on the shortlist are leaders in their field and deserved finalists at what will be a great awards night.

Richard Stanbrook

Director of headline sponsors South West Water Business

There is little more satisfying in life than knowing you are making a difference to people’s business success, lives and happiness. The feedback we receive from Awards entrants tells us we are helping in all of these ways and we look forward to sharing in winner celebrations on awards night.

Robin Barker

Director of Services for Tourism Ltd