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Finalists announced for record-breaking Awards 

The Finalists have been announced for this year’s Dorset Tourism Awards which will be presented at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts on 8 November at a ceremony hosted by BBC Dorset’s Steve Harris, with guest Speaker Debra Stephenson.

An increased 125 entries were received from across Dorset, with 72 selected as finalists who will be in suspense until the Awards Ceremony in The Lighthouse, when they will learn whether they have won Gold, Silver or Bronze awards. A further 3 receive Highly Commended status.

The annual competition, now in its 6th year, saw the addition of a ‘Tourism Innovation & New Business’ category, alongside numerous criteria changes to reflect the ever-changing world of tourism.  Amongst changes was the widening of the former Sustainable Tourism category into a new award that recognised Responsible and Ethical tourism, including use of single-use plastics.

Successful businesses in the Dorset Awards will be fast tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2019 and possibly invited to represent Dorset in the 2019 National VisitEngland Awards.

Awards organizer Robin Barker of Services for Tourism adds: “We love seeing the progression of these awards from their launch 6 years ago. Entrants tell us their prime reason for entering is the feedback they receive, helping them hone their businesses and service still further, but one thing that doesn’t change is the delight caused by being told you’re one of the best tourism businesses in Dorset.  Many congratulations to all of this year’s finalists and highly commended businesses – you’re leading the way!”

Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants Partner Nick Fernyhough advised, “Interest in the awards has continued to increase year on year and the judging panel were thoroughly delighted at this year’s numbers. It was impressive to see the excellent spread of entries from across the whole of the county too.

"The county’s tourism businesses continue to invest in what is a key economic driver for Dorset.  The success of the Jurassic Coast Team at last year’s Awards and the recognition that Bournemouth Beach has recently received, after being named ‘best beach in the UK’ by TripAdvisor and 5th best in Europe, emphasises the outstanding natural features that Dorset has to offer. 

"The Awards continue to reflect the constant improvement in the tourism industry in the county and Saffery Champness Accountants are delighted to be headline sponsors for yet another year.  We are looking forward to recognising and rewarding outstanding achievements by Dorset businesses.”

For a full list of finalists click HERE

Photos from last years ceremony can be downloaded free of charge from http://nickwilliamsphotographer.co.uk/p90363110 and a short film HERE

Twitter @DorsetTourAwds  HashTag #DorsetTA