Title Sponsor


This year’s Dorset Tourism Awards are now closed for entry with the exception of 3 categories which have a later deadline of 31 August:

  • International Visitor Experience – for businesses going the extra mile in welcoming visitors from overseas, maybe through extra staff training, translated websites etc
  • Outstanding Customer Service (including Unsung Hero) – Individuals or teams that continually go above and beyond, offering exceptional customer service to visitors
  • Tourism Event and Festival – for events and festivals that help bring visitors to the area and enhance their stay

After a record year, in which the region’s tourism awards schemes attracted 605 entries with over 135 winners, the 2017/18 awards entries are now in their judging phase.

2017 builds on the success of the past as well as seeing a few changes. There is a new Guided Tour category for tours on land and water, new awards for Spa & Wellbeing, Active and Sporting Experience and Artistic, Cultural & Learning Experience. There are also criteria changes for Hotels, Holiday Parks and Visitor Information Service.  Other categories include Glamping, Self Catering, Dog Friendly, Access & Inclusivity, B&Bs, Cafes, Pubs, Restaurants, B&Bs, Attractions, Business Tourism, Customer Service, Sustainable Tourism & Events & Festivals.

The Awards launch follows just days after Dorset’s success in the final event of the 2016/17 awards when The Anchor at Seatown was amongst the top winners in the national VisitEngland awards having previously won in both the Dorset and South West awards. This was in addition to Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Dorset House Boutique B&B, both of which were national Finalists.

Feedback from 2016 awards entrants has been used to further develop and refine the awards process, with entrants highlighting that their main reason for taking part was to help raise the quality of their businesses and for the free feedback provided. This has led to additional workshops being held for entrants.

Headline sponsors Saffery Champness Partner Nick Fernyhough advised, “Tourism remains a key area of the Dorset economy despite ongoing economic uncertainty. It will be interesting to see if Brexit will provide a welcome boost for UK tourism and make this sector even more important.  We are delighted to be the headline sponsor for the fourth consecutive year and celebrating these prestigious Awards which recognise and reward excellence in this essential sector.”

Organiser of the awards Robin Barker says: “Like any good tourism business the Awards continue to evolve and develop and this year is no exception.  Last year saw record entries as well as wide-ranging feedback, and we look forward to working closely with entrants in helping them stay at the forefront of quality tourism.”

The deadline for entering the remaining 3 categories is midnight on 31st August, but businesses are encouraged to start preparing now and not leave it to the last minute.  Entry is free, the programmes being funded by a range of sponsors and partners, and all entrants receive feedback.

To enter see the How to Enter 

Please also follow our NEW Twitter account at @DorsetTourAwds as well as the more established @SWTourismAwards