The organisers of the region’s Tourism Awards are celebrating today following news of their own Gold Award in the Awards Trust Mark scheme, making them the first awards scheme of any kind in the South West and the first tourism scheme in the country to win the accolade.
The Award is being presented to Services for Tourism, organisers of the South West Tourism Excellence Awards as well as the Cornwall, Bristol, Bath & Somerset, Devon and Dorset Tourism Awards. It was confirmed by the Independent Awards Standards Council following an assessment of the processes and standards applied by Services for Tourism in running the awards, along with interviews with winners and judges. Winning the Gold accolade required evidence against 16 criteria including independence of judges, confidentiality, judge training and feedback.
Chris Robinson, Co-Founder and Chair of the Independent Awards Standards Council, says: “We are delighted to award the South West Tourism Excellence Awards a Gold Trust Mark for its ethics, transparency and general great practice. The first tourism award to receive Gold. What impressed me most about the awards is how they give feedback despite being free to enter, and how they truly listen to entrants – surveying them every year to ensure continuous improvement. A great scheme.”
Services for Tourism Director Robin Barker said: “Tourism is a fast-moving dynamic industry with leaders constantly innovating and investing. In judging them we cannot stand still and the Tourism Awards of 2019 bear little relation to those of 2008, when we first took them on.
Feedback from entrants tells us that the main reason people now enter the awards is for the free feedback and to improve their business, this being one of the reasons entries have grown each year to a record 651 in 2018. It is of course a team effort, and I must thank our 50+ judges and 40+ sponsors in making it possible.”
Co-Director Nell Barrington said: “The awards are all about excellence and we have the privilege of working with some of the best businesses in the country within the different awards schemes. It is fantastic to see that the work of our awards team has been recognised with this charter mark.”
The 2019/20 Tourism Awards are currently open for entry, with a deadline of 30 April.