Businesses from all over Somerset, Bristol and Bath have been busy entering these new Tourism Awards, launched to help raise the profile of the area and recognise its top operators.
The awards include 20 different categories, reflecting the diversity of the regions tourism industry. Entrants went through a 3-stage judging process, taking into account websites, reviews, social media and a widespread programme of mystery visits by industry experts. All evidence was then presented to a judging panel.
Finalists will now have to wait until the Awards ceremony at the Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House Hotel near Congresbury, on October 19 to find out whether they have won Gold, Silver or a Bronze award.
Robert Sinclair from headline sponsors Bristol Airport, said: “The West Country is blessed with fantastic tourist attractions. Creating a positive first impression for visitors is at the heart of our brand and a key consideration in the designs of current terminal developments. The West’s world-class tourism offer is also a key factor in attracting new routes and airlines to Bristol Airport. For all these reasons, we are delighted to sponsor these awards and wish all entrants the best of luck.”
John Hirst, Chief Executive of Destination Bristol said: “We are very pleased to be involved with the regional awards and look forward to a very special awards evening. We would like to congratulate all the finalists and send our best wishes for the next stages of the awards process. In this region we have an abundance of potential winners which is a credit to all involved.”
John Turner, Chief Executive of Visit Somerset, added: “Visit Somerset is delighted to be part of these prestigious awards, finally now many Somerset tourism and leisure businesses are going to get the recognition that they deserve in our wonderful county that we call Somerset.”
David James, Chief Executive of Bath Tourism Plus, commented: “Bath has seen many top award winning businesses in recent years and this new scheme will help many others to gain the recognition they deserve.”
The Bristol Bath and Somerset Awards are run by Services for Tourism, which runs tourism award schemes across Southern England.
Co-organiser Nell Barrington added: “Were absolutely delighted that so many high quality businesses have entered into this new scheme and I am really looking forward to celebrating with them all on awards night.”
Successful businesses in the Awards will automatically be considered for matching categories in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2017 with the chance to go on to represent Bristol, Bath and Somerset at the National VisitEngland Awards later in the year.