Who will be named Devon's best tourism providers?

A wallaby being hand fed at Exmoor Zoo.

Judges will be on the lookout for the best Devon tourism providers in the past year. - Credit: Neville Stanikk/VisitDevon

Devon’s tourism providers are being urged to put themselves forward for the county’s latest awards recognising their efforts during a challenging 12 months. 

The 2021/22 Devon Tourism Awards are now open and businesses from across the county are invited to submit their entries. 

The awards, now in their 12th year, cover all of Devon, including the English Riviera and Plymouth, offering businesses the chance to win not just locally, but to progress on to the regional South West awards and – for matching categories – the national VisitEngland awards. 

Thrill-seekers upside down on a rollercoaster.

Which Devon tourism businesses will be judged to have provided the most thrilling experiences for their visitors? - Credit: Justin Garvanovic

Awards organiser Robin Barker says: “The last year has highlighted the need for tourism to adapt and innovate, and the same applies to the awards. This year sees new categories, new criteria and an extended entry period giving businesses the chance to enter early ‘before the rush’ or to leave it till they have welcomed more visitors if they prefer. We so look forward to engaging with everyone once again.” 

The 2021/22 awards cover the full range of tourism-related businesses including pubs, cafes and restaurants as well as accommodation, wedding and business venues, attractions, events and experiences.  There is a new award for Innovation and Resilience, as well as opportunities to submit entries for unsung heroes, new businesses, dog friendly, accessibility and sustainability. 

The awards are free to enter as they are supported by many sponsors and partners. Deborah Heather, Director of headline sponsors Quality in Tourism, says: “The Devon Tourism industry’s response to what has been the most challenging situation and market in our recent history has been truly inspirational.  

“Quality in Tourism is delighted to be Headline Sponsor once again for the 2021 Awards; we're so excited to see the best of the industry improve on one of the most innovative years we have ever experienced”. 

Tourists on a boat trip day out off the coast of Devon.

The new Devon Tourism Awards allow providers to compete to be named best in the businesses. - Credit: Neville Stanikk/VisitDevon

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The launch comes fresh from the conclusion of the 2020/21 awards, held in what was an extraordinary year for tourism, hospitality and the world. The awards had to change their format several times, with widespread praise from entrants including such comments as: “Winning this award has made us feel that all our hard work and plans for the future have been acknowledged”.  

Other entrants listed the benefits of entering as increasing bookings, generating PR, boosting staff morale, as well as the free feedback on how their business could be improved. 

Full details of the awards are here. All entries must be submitted online by August 31.