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Devon Salutes Business Tourism

Devon Salutes Business Tourism

The County of Devon have formerly acknowledged the importance of Business Tourism to the region by awarding one of its leading conference industry figures. The Visit Devon Awards are the county's first tourism awards recognising Devon's best companies and personalities across its tourism industry.

Barry Cole, Managing Director of Torquay's Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC), has been presented with a special award for outstanding services to tourism, for his work at the RICC and his drive in putting Devon on the conference map.
Barry's award came as a complete surprise to him, after months of secret planning and research by the Visit Devon Awards team and a small number of staff at the RICC, who at the very least had to make sure that he attended the ceremony, held at the Thurleston Hotel near Salcombe.

Stephen Page, Director of Colliers International Commercial Estate Agents, Director of Visit Devon, and Chairman of the judging panel presented Barry with the award on the night.

Barry Cole said of the time it was announced:
"As Stephen introduced the Award, I recall moments when I was comparing my own career milestones to those of the person he was speaking about, only to realise it was actually me! This was a complete bolt from the blue! I had absolutely no idea and after the initial shock suddenly I thought; I now have to make a speech!"

In 1985 Barry took over the management and development of Torquay's Osborne Hotel which he ran successfully for ten years until 1995 when he joined the RICC. He is a Master InnHolder and through his Chairmanship was granted the Freedom of the City of London. As MD of the county's largest dedicated conference centre he has been a popular voice on many regional business tourism and conference associated working parties and forums, most recently being voted as Chairman of the newly formed Visit Devon working party for Business Tourism.

Rosie Bates of Visit Devon said:
"At the selection panel we asked everyone if they knew of a suitable candidate who was worthy of receiving a special recognition award. Barry's name was put forward and very quickly it was agreed that he should receive such an honour".

"He is an extraordinary person, who has gone the extra mile and without doubt the perfect recipient in recognition of his long term service to Devon's conference industry".

For more information please contact: Sarah James, PR and Marketing Co-ordinator, Conference Torquay

In photo (courtesy of Visit Devon): (left to right) Stephen Page (Collier International & Visit Devon), Rosie Bates (Visit Devon), Barry Cole (RICC), & Judi Spiers (BBC Radio Devon)

About Visit Devon
Visit Devon is the destination management organisation responsible for promoting Devon to the world. The organisation acts as a voice for tourism in Devon and its aim is simple, to increase the number of visitors to Devon by promoting the county as a year round destination for business or leisure. The organisation brings together, adds value to and enhances the work and activities undertaken by the six Area Tourism Partnerships across the county. Visit Devon is committed to growing the tourism sector sustainably, increasing the skills within the industry, and raising the quality of the visitor experience. Visit Devon is a public private partnership limited by guarantee. The not for profit company comprises nine member organisations including the six Area Tourism Partnerships (The Heart of Devon, Visit Plymouth, North Devon, The Dartmoor Partnership, The English Riviera Tourist Board, and Visit South Devon, Devon County Council, The Devon Association of Tourist attractions (Data), and Devon Farms. Visit Devon is the trading name of Destination Devon Ltd September 2010 (Visit Devon 032)
For more information about Visit Devon go to

About the Visit Devon Tourism Awards
May 2010 saw the launch of the new Devon Tourism Awards, winners from which will be automatically fast-tracked into the matching category in the South West awards.

Devon is one of England's leading tourism destinations, with a diverse and top quality tourism industry that includes many former winners of national awards. The Devon Tourism Awards celebrates the achievements of tourism businesses and individuals that represent the best of the county.

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