Another record year for Tourism businesses at the VisitEngland awards

Adam and Tina Fox-Edwards

Adam and Tina Fox-Edwards - Credit: Archant

A huge 16 of the finalist places in this year’s national VisitEngland awards have been taken by tourism businesses from the South West, making it another record year for the region and reminding visitors of the quality available in England’s pre-eminent tourism destination.

The awards body has announced 79 finalists in total, so with 16 of these from the South West there’s a clear message about the quality of the South West tourism experience.

The Visit England awards link with the South West Tourism Excellence Awards which held its regional awards ceremony in Plymouth on 30th January. This followed a rigorous selection process, including judging of nearly 350 entries from across the South West with many of them winning also in the Dorset Tourism Awards, Cornwall Tourism Awards and Devon Tourism Awards.

Since January, the regional entries have been pitted against further entries from across the country, with 13 entries selected as finalists representing the South West at the VisitEngland awards night in Cheltenham on 12th May. These are joined by two winners from the Cotswold Tourism Awards and one finalist in the Tourism Superstar category to make the total of 16 from the region. All of them are guaranteed to receive a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended Award.

Devon boasts six finalists, including Calvert Trust Exmoor which is up for two awards in the Tourism Experience category and the Access for All award.

The Arundell Arms at Lifton is a finalist in the Business Tourism category for the second year running.

Traditional, family-run English country hotel won Bronze in last year’s competition and is looking forward to being judged alongside some huge contenders in this year’s race to the top.

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The Arundell Arms Hotel Managing Director Adam Fox-Edwards said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been short listed for a National Award which really does reflect well on the whole team at the hotel and recognises what they do throughout the year and on a national scale.

“To be a finalist in a national competition for the Best Business Hotel in England for the second time is a remarkable achievement for a small hotel in West Devon. To be competing as a finalist amongst the best and some of the largest household names in the country, is a remarkable achievement for a small family owned business.”

Chairman of the South West judging panel Alistair Handyside says: “This is a brilliant result for the South West, and is well deserved recognition of the ongoing investment made by our leading tourism businesses. Our congratulations to them all and we will be rooting for you on awards night on the 12th May.”

Robin Barker, from awards organisers Services for Tourism, comments: “Each year the standards in this competition get higher and higher, hence it is a testament to the industry that the South West again heads the ‘league table’ amongst English regions.”

2014 VisitEngland Devon finalists:

Access for All Tourism Award

Calvert Trust Exmoor

Barnstaple, Devon Mobility South West Exeter, Devon

Business Tourism Award

Arundell Arms Hotel Lifton, Devon Park / Holiday Village of the Year

The Old Rectory Hotel Martinhoe, Devon of England Award

River Cottage Canteen & Deli Plymouth Plymouth, Devon Experience of the Year

Calvert Trust Exmoor Barnstaple, Devon Information Provider of the Year

English Riviera Tourism Company (ERTC) Devon

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