2013 TOURISM AWARDS OPEN FOR ENTRIES
** STOP PRESS - DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 5TH JULY**
This year’s official tourism awards for Devon are now open - and businesses are invited to enter by the extended deadline of 5pm on Friday 5th July!
Tourism businesses across Devon are being encouraged to promote and celebrate their achievements and quality by entering the Devon Tourism Awards 2013 which are now open for entries.
The Awards shine a spotlight on what makes Devon such a perfect place to visit and they celebrate the industry’s passion for excellence. They are open to all sectors of the industry across Devon, including accommodation, attractions, events, activity providers and places to eat and drink.
To reflect the industry and increasing participation in the awards a number of changes have been made to the programme which is now in its 4th year. ‘Pubs’ have now been separated from the ‘Taste of Devon’ category into their own standalone category, and reflecting the number of entries in recent years the Attractions category has been divided into Small and Large Attractions. The ‘Business Tourism’ category has also been renamed as ‘Venue & Business Tourism award, in recognition of the importance of weddings to the tourism industry.
Visit Devon Chairman, Carolyn Custerson, who comments: “It’s more crucial than ever before that we celebrate and promote the best that Devon has to offer visitors. The Devon Tourism Awards play a key role in rewarding the vision, talent and hard work of the local tourism industry. They also highlight the contribution made towards key issues such as sustainability, accessibility and staff training and development.
“The updated categories mean there is something for every tourism related business and we hope 2013 is a record year for entries.”
The launch of the Devon Tourism Awards coincides with the Cornwall and South West awards and comes fresh from the county’s outstanding success in this year’s national VisitEngland awards, when Devon businesses picked up 5 national awards.
Another development this year is the inclusion on the Awards websites of more case studies from recent finalists, each of them sharing their top tips on why businesses should enter and how to win:
“Winning an Award leads to other things, more bookings, invitations to take part in other media exercises and a web site logo to set us apart from the competition”, said Joy Raymond of Hedgehog Corner B&B in Devon.
Pippa Griffith from the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life said:“The rewards have been fantastic. Winning two prestigious awards has really helped us to raise our profile and we will continue to use it as good advocacy for the museum for the next 12 months (especially in a region jam-packed with high quality visitor attractions!)”
e-Strategy are delighted to be headline sponsors for the Devon Tourism Awards: Stuart Devlin, Digital Director at e-Strategy, said:“As one of the leading digital marketing agencies in the South West it give us great pride to sponsor such a prestigious event.
“We are delighted to see that this year digital marketing is being given greater weight in the judging process. It is testament to its crucial importance in tourism business success that quality online marketing activity is being recognised in this way. We look forward to celebrating another evening of excellence.”
Awards co-ordinator Robin Barker of Services for Tourism says:“2012 was a tough year for tourism in the South West. The Olympic effect, the difficult economic climate and unsettled weather resulted in a 6% national drop in rural domestic trips and 2% drop in longer domestic breaks. That impact has been felt across the industry, but there’s little doubt that the impact has been the least on businesses that have continued to invest in excellence – in their infrastructure, their people, their marketing, their skills. Those are the kind of businesses that win tourism awards and I invite them all to enter.”
Winners from the Devon awards will be fast-tracked into the South West awards, with South West winners submitted to the national VisitEngland awards. Entry is free, the programmes being funded by a range of sponsors and partners, and all entrants receive feedback.
The extended deadline for entering all three awards schemes is 5pm on Friday 5th July, but businesses are encouraged to start preparing now and not leave it to the last minute. (The Outstanding Customer Service & Event & Festival categories do not require visits as part of their judging, hence these two categories have their own, later deadline of Friday 30th August).
Full details of the tourism awards, along with details of how to enter, top tips and entry forms can be found on this site.
The deadline for this year's official tourism awards for Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and the South West has been extended to 5pm on Friday 5th July. In addition, the deadline for the Outstanding Customer Service and Tourism Event categories sees a further extension until 30th August.
6 Winners from last year's Devon Tourism Awards went 'all the way', picking up national awards in the 2013 VisitEngland awards
Michael Caines scores a Double and The Arundell Arms celebrates a Triple Award win at the Devon Tourism Awards 2012