Pembrokeshire tourism awards

By | Category: Travel news
Pembrokeshire Falconry raptor

one of the 33 birds getting ready to fly around Cilgerran Castle

In the Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards for 2016 which were announced on November 10th, there were fifteen different categories.

In the county, tourism is important, more so than many counties, being worth £525 million to the local economy. Given that the population of the county is only about 125,000 it means tourism is worth about £4,200 for every man, women and child. Tourism is important to Pembrokeshire with over 16% of the adult population involved in it as opposed to about 9.6% which is the UK average.

Getting the appeal to visitors right is important in any destination which relies so heavily on tourism so awards are useful promotional tools for those that win not just the top prizes but those that are runners-up as well.

As usual, we believe that the most significant ones are any that reward customer service and satisfaction because without thoughtfully considered and good customer service a holiday can fall flat. Courteous and pleasant customer service can raise the humdrum into the good and memorable. The relevant award amongst Pembrokeshire tourism and travel related businesses is for Best Customer Team and this was won by Celtic Haven, a group of thirty self-catering cottages near Tenby.

Pembrokeshire Falconry with their 33 birds were judged to be the winners in the Best Experience/Pembrokeshire Day Out category. If you see the birds when they are flying at one of the county’s many castles, the site of them swooping from the semi-ruined towers can be quite eerie! The Really Wild Festival won the top award in the Best Event group. Held near St David’s over two days in May, this food and outdoor festival aims to show you how to make the most of the countryside.

Considering that the county population more than trebles over holiday periods, accommodation is vital so there are five awards covering that category.   The winner in the Best Non Serviced Accommodation – Under 3 units was St Davids Country Cottages and in the category for more than three units was Clydey Cottages. In Best Serviced Accommodation – Under 12 Rooms, Monk Haven Manor walked away with the top award and for those providing more than 12 rooms, the winner was Twr y Felin Hotel. Florence Springs Yurt Village won the Best Holiday Park/Caravan Park/Campsite category, quite an achievement given how many there are in Pembrokeshire.

a hobbit house

one of the grass-roofed hobbit houses. Image © Florence Springs Yurt Village

In the two food awards, Fields Lodge B&B near Milford Haven was successful over its competitors in winning the Finest Pembrokeshire Breakfast award and The Stackpole Inn collected the Best Eating Out Experience award.

The Harriet Davis Trust, a trust providing four self-catering holiday houses in Pembrokeshire, UK for families with disabled children won the Best Access For The Disabled Visitor top prize and Penrallt – Top of the Woods, a camping and glamping provider on a 27 acre farm in the Teifi Valley near Boncath collected the Sustainable Tourism award as well as that for Best Marketing Campaign. Sarah Beynon, the entomologist and television presenter started a new business in her home county recently and Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm won the award in the Exciting New Business Category.

There were really only two people’s awards. Andy Middleton from TYF Adventure received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism. There was one award that visitors would normally be uninterested in and which is unusual amongst tourism awards. There is a category for Best Supplier. Without an efficient and punctual group of suppliers that often the visitor hears nothing about, can tourism survive very easily. Especially in the case of the winners. The Best Suppliers were named as Apple Blossom Cleaning Services in Narberth and who would ever want to stay in accommodation that wasn’t spotlessly clean?

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