The 2021/22 Devon Tourism Awards are now open and businesses from across Devon are invited to submit their entries.
The Awards, now in their 12th year, cover all of Devon, including the English Riviera and Plymouth, offering businesses the chance to win not just locally, but to progress on to the regional South West awards and – for matching categories – the national VisitEngland awards.
The launch comes fresh from the conclusion of the 2020/21 awards, held in what was an extraordinary year for tourism, hospitality and the world. The awards had to change their format several times, with widespread praise from entrants including such comments as: “Winning this award has made us feel that all our hard work and plans for the future have been acknowledged”. Other entrants listed the benefits of entering as increasing bookings, generating PR, boosting staff morale, as well as the free feedback on how their business could be improved. Find out more about the benefits here.
The 2021/22 awards categories cover the full range of tourism-related businesses including pubs, cafes and restaurants as well as accommodation, wedding and business venues, attractions, events and experiences. There is a new award for ‘Innovation and Resilience’, as well as opportunities to submit entries for unsung heroes, new businesses, dog friendly, accessibility and sustainability.
Awards organiser Robin Barker says: “The last year has highlighted the need for tourism to adapt and innovate, and the same applies to the Awards. This year sees new categories, new criteria and an extended entry period giving businesses the chance to enter early ‘before the rush’ or to leave it till they have welcomed more visitors if they prefer. We so look forward to engaging with everyone once again.”
The awards are free to enter as they are supported by many sponsors and partners. Deborah Heather, Director of headline sponsors Quality in Tourism, says: “The Devon Tourism industry’s response to what has been the most challenging situation and market in our recent history has been truly inspirational. Quality in Tourism is delighted to be Headline Sponsor once again for the 2021 Awards; we're so excited to see the best of the industry improve on one of the most innovative years we have ever experienced”.
A series of free online workshops is planned to help entrants, the first being on 25 May. All entries must be submitted online by 12 September but with hopefully a very busy summer ahead it is recommended that businesses start as soon as possible.