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By nellb, Feb 6 2017 01:41PM


Records were broken at the annual South West Tourism Excellence Awards finale on 2nd February, as 10 months of work culminated in the presentation of 135 trophies to the South West’s leading tourism businesses.

Held in the brand new Lansdown Suite of Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, this year’s awards were announced alongside performances from LED jugglers ‘Feeding the Fish’ and intrepid tales from adventurer Alastair Humphreys. With 469 people booked, it was the biggest ever regional gathering of South West tourism businesses, in which a record 605 entries were considered. Entries were 23% up on the year before, helped by a new county scheme launched in April to encourage more entries from Somerset, Bristol and Bath.

Up against tough competition from across the region Somerset businesses scooped 10 awards. The winners from Somerset are:

Waterrow Touring Park, Somerset,

Dimpsey Glamping, Somerset,

The Coleridge Restaurant, Somerset,

Hestercombe Gardens, Somerset,

Dunkery Beacon Country House, Somerset,

Mill on the Brue Outdoor Activity Centre, Somerset,

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, Somerset,

The White Hart, Somerset,

Taunton Visitor Centre, Somerset,

Andrew Hopkins from Taunton Visitor Centre said: “To win Bronze at such a prestigious event is fantastic and a real accolade for our team. It comes on top of the Gold and we are delighted that Taunton is being recognised as a centre of excellence in the South West. I can’t thank the team enough for their dedication and professionalism.”

All entrants underwent a rigorous short-listing process including being visited by a team of mystery shoppers. Entry was free, and all entrants received feedback on how they had done, giving them useful tips for future success.

John Turner CEO at Visit Somerset the official destination management organisation for the county of Somerset said; "We would just like to congratulate all those Somerset winners, this is a fantastic achievement for the county and I am thrilled. We have some of the most talented and resourceful businesses in the region who are continually innovating in helping to make Somerset one of the premiere vacation county's in the UK. Well done everyone all this hard work really is making a difference for Somerset and we are all very proud of you."

Co-organiser Nell Barrington said “I am absolutely thrilled that so many great Somerset businesses won awards; recognising the excellent accommodation, attractions, events and experiences that Somerset has on offer. I hope that this year we can attract even more businesses to enter and would encourage tourism businesses to contact us so we can send them details, so that next year who knows …”

The Bristol, Bath and Somerset winners are shown below and a full list of South West winners can be found at The 2017 Bristol, Bath and Somerset awards will be launched in April and more information will be available at

Event photos can be downloaded from

Twitter: @SWTourism Awards - hashtag #SWTAwards


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