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Glittering night for South West tourism for Excellence Awards 2010

Glittering night for South West tourism for Excellence Awards 2010

There was glitz and glamour in the English Riviera last night when the who's who of the West tourism industry gathered in south Devon to celebrate South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2010/11.

The awards, in association with South West Water and Blue Chip Holidays, celebrate the "best in the South West" and aim to promote and reward leading businesses and individuals in the tourism industry.

Six of the region's top Tourist Information Centres and 42 outstanding tourism businesses were presented with prestigious awards.

Topping categories were The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Colston Hall in Bristol, Hestercombe Gardens, Somerset and Gloucester Tourist Information Centre, who, as Gold award winners, will now go on to represent the region at the National Enjoy England Awards for Excellence in 2011.

Alistair Handyside, chairman of South West Tourism, said: "I am absolutely delighted with not only the standard of entries, but also the calibre, dedication and passion for quality of our winners, the tourism industry of the South West goes from strength to strength. Each year, we showcase what is truly excellent about our visitor economy and we celebrate success, in customer service and experience and our industry in general.

"I wish all success in the future to our winners and finalists, I am sure that winning these awards will have a hugely positive impact on their businesses. As chairman of South West Tourism, I am immensely proud that excellence in the South West is recognised and rewarded and long may this continue."

Chris Loughlin, chief executive of South West Water, said: "Our congratulations to all this year's winners proving yet again why excellent hospitality and a beautiful environment is the South West's not so secret formula for tourism success. I am sure they will all take the region's reputation forward with pride into the national awards."

Alan Taylor, managing director of Blue Chip Holidays, said: "The South West Tourism Excellence Awards have once again shone a beacon on the finest of the region's attractions, accommodation providers and tourism focused businesses. We can be very proud of all the winners, each of whom has shown that when times are tough a determined focus on quality is the very best way to thrive."

"Special mention has to go to The Scarlet, a paragon for all tourism focused businesses to aspire to. They have shown that excellence is the best approach to building an outstanding reputation, and they have successfully leveraged Cornwall's natural resources to create a unique proposition in what is a very competitive national and international market. What the owners have achieved in such a short space of time is quite simply stunning and they are very worthy winners of the South West Tourism Excellence Awards Winner of Winners title."

The awards were presented by journalist and broadcaster Declan Curry, best known for presenting the business on BBC Breakfast and hosting BBC's Working Lunch business programme.

Commenting on the special award presented to Tourist Information Centres Mr Taylor, said:

"The South West can take great pride in the fact that we have six of the top rated Tourist Information Centres in the entire country. The role that they play is vital to tourism and the fact that they have created a "Best Practise sharing group" is a fine example of how collaboration can lead to exemplary levels of achievement. At a time when the public sector is under increasing pressure, this enlightened approach is a fine example to other organisations."

Story Courtesy of This is Somerset

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