The Devon tourism awards

By | Category: Travel news

devon-logoWe are in full swing for the tourism awards season and, last week, the Visit Devon Awards were held.

You will remember the media images of the storms that hit south Devon and one in particular – that of the railway line running through Dawlish hanging precariously as the waves lashed it. The line was repaired quickly and trains reunited the south west with the rest of the UK. It probably isn’t a surprise then that Network Rail and the Amco Rail team that repaired the line were given the Outstanding Contribution to Devon Tourism award.

The overall winner of winners at the awards was Higher Wiscombe, a collection of five star holiday cottages. It has a habit of collecting awards form organisations like Visit Devon , Visit England and the owner, last year, picked up a Green Tourism Award called ‘The Extra Sausage Award’ which is in recognition of the individual who was judged to have gone the extra distance to promote sustainable tourism. It aso won the gold award for providing dog-friendly accommodation and for self catering suggesting they may need some additional wall space soon if they keep on winning so many awards!

The gold awards for Best Attraction of the Year went to   RHS Garden Rosemoor, Gt Torrington in the large attraction category and to Plymouth Gin, Plymouth in the small category. Did it dawn on organisers that gardens and gin go rather well together, particularly in summer?

part of the complex

part of the Higher Wiscombe complex

In the accommodation sections, the best B&B went to Rydon Farm and Woodovis Park in won gold in the camping and caravan park section. The gold award in the holiday park and village category was won by Beverley Holidays in Paignton and the large hotel gold award was won by Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa. The small hotel category was won by Kentisbury Grange in Barnstaple which happens to also have netted the restaurant of the year,  The Coach House by Michael Caines. The pub of the year was deemed to be The Swan in Bampton.

The gold award for tourism event of the year was won by the Contemporary Craft Festival held in Bovey Tracey and the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth came top in the category of sustainable tourism. Unique Devon Tours in Newton Abbot was voted the top award for international visitor experience.

Dartmouth Tourist Information Centre won the gold award for best tourist information service,an important provision for visitors. With council cutbacks across much of our countries, it is important that those that continue to provide tourist information are highlighted

Customer service or satisfaction is what makes us want to return or sing the praises of a place so it is a little disappointing that there isn’t an award for an organisation providing the best customer service or satisfaction, just an award for an individual providing customer service and that gold award  – in a category called unsung hero award – went to Rachel Grose of Finlake Holiday Park, Chudleigh. Next year, maybe the organisers could institute an award for an attraction, event or accommodation provider.


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