54 Winners have been announced in a day-long online awards ceremony, with three further awards to be announced in May, when winners and sponsors will gather at the award-winning Sculpture by the Lakes. There were also 9 Commended businesses.
The ceremony was the conclusion of nine months of businesses entering, being judged and visited in what was the 9th year of the competition. There were numerous examples of excellence, innovation and resilience applied by businesses as they fought their way over one hurdle after another. In parallel, many found time to become significant contributors to the county’s efforts to support key workers and those facing hardship.
Pubs, cafes, attractions, activity providers and restaurants were recognised alongside accommodation providers in 23 categories. Winners included many new entrants to the awards, alongside several past winners continuing to excel.
Deborah Heather of headline sponsors Quality in Tourism says: “In what has been another difficult year, we see the calibre of entrants and finalists in the Dorset awards continuing to improve. It’s awe inspiring to see the creativity and innovation from this industry, I am both humbled and immensely proud of the sector and I wish everyone the best in the awards and for 2022.”
Chair of the judges Professor Peter Jones said: “Over the past two years the tourism industry has experienced the very lows of lockdown and the highs of the demands for staycations, all in the same year! What this year’s judging has shown is how resilient, creative and innovative Dorset tourism businesses have had to be to survive. As this year's winners have shown they are working exceptionally hard to overcome any setbacks and to showcase the excellence that Dorset tourism offers all of its visitors.”
Amanda Park, Tourism Development Manager of Visit Dorset, comments: “We are delighted to support the awards which celebrate the variety and quality of tourism businesses across Dorset and showcase their hard work and achievements! As sponsor of the New Business category, it is fantastic to see the industry continue to grow and develop despite the difficulties of the last two years. Congratulations to all the finalists!”
David Bailey, Chair of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Destination Management Board, added: “Congratulations to all the winners. It is important that we celebrate and acknowledge the quality of our tourism and hospitality offer that makes a significant contribution to the local economy.”
Awards organizer Robin Barker of Services for Tourism added: “I have been truly wowed by the capacity of Dorset tourism businesses both to innovate and to give back. I take my hat off to you all.”
Written by Dorset Tourism Awards