Cornwall businesses excel on tourism awards night
THE South West's top tourism businesses are celebrating after awards for excellence in the region's holiday industry were handed out.
The South West Tourism Excellence Awards at the Eden Project on Friday saw top restaurateurs, hoteliers, holiday park bosses and attractions collect prizes following judging of more than 300 entries.
Winners came from across the South West, including many from Cornwall.
Among the gold winners was Trethem Mill Tourism Park on the Roseland Peninsula, which picked up gold in the holiday park category and was also named Winner of Winners.
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Gold in the new category of Tourism Pub went to Restronguet's Pandora Inn, now reopened after a devastating fire, with top awards too for Bodmin Visitor Information Centre in the tourism information category, Falmouth Oyster Festival as best event of the year and the Gwel an Mor resort at Portreath for its customer service.
Entry to the awards was free, and all entrants received feedback on how they measured up.
Up to four winners from each category will go on to represent the region at the National Enjoy England Awards for Excellence in May.
Alistair Handyside, chairman of the judges, said: "Once again, leading tourism businesses in the South West have excelled themselves in maintaining a strong tradition of innovation and quality.
"Most will now go on to represent both themselves and our region at the Visit England national tourism awards and we wish them all the very best."
Robin Barker of Services for Tourism, who runs the awards, said this year had been "an inspiration", after a judging process that had seen 164 visits, 16 panel meetings and hours of debate. He added: "No entry fees have been required and every entrant has received feedback. That's what I call an awards programme."
The event was hosted by BBC Radio Cornwall's Daphne Skinnard, with presentations by Eden Project founder Sir Tim Smit and entertainer Lloyd Griffith.