After 6 months of judging and 125 business visits, the winners of this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards have been announced. Now in their 15th year, the awards saw an increase to 195 entries entering 25 different categories, with a new one this year for Glamping. The awards celebration was enhanced by an entertaining presentation from lyricist and cricket enthusiast Sir Tim Rice who shared anecdotes from his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John.
Top winners on the night included Hendra Holiday Park, picking up the prestigious Winner of Winners trophy alongside Golds for Sustainable Tourism and Holiday Parks. There was also an Outstanding Contribution award to Looe’s Mark Camp for his services to tourism as well as a posthumous Special Award for Innovation to Tim Reed of Tredethick Farm Cottages.
Awards organizer Robin Barker introduced the evening saying: “It always amazes me that this industry continues to innovate and excel. When I was first involved in tourism in Cornwall back in the early 90s, most leading businesses had never heard of ‘sustainable tourism’, it was the era when many were still arguing against the need for en-suite facilities, and the internet was described in a report by a tourism IT expert as having a “rather limited market segment”. “That was in 1997 … and now look at us! The excellence and innovation shown by the winners is literally stupendous.”
The 25 award categories covered everything from surf schools, cafes and hotels to cottages, spas and holiday parks. Other Gold winners on the night included David Croft as Unsung Hero, Trevose Harbour House, Kernock Cottages, Newquay Activity Centre, Hell Bay Hotel, Pentillie Castle, Bude TIC, Roundhouse Barn Holidays and Trethem Mill Touring Park. Food and drink Golds went to The Dining Room restaurant, The Waymarker café and Rising Sun pub. The two Self Catering Golds went to Headland Hotel cottages and The Old Barn Tregonetha, whilst Attraction Golds went to Lanhydrock and Screech Owl Sanctuary.
Eden Project took Gold for Access and Inclusivity, with Newquay Activity Centre, Rick Stein’s Cookery School and C Bay Spa taking the three Experience Golds. The new Glamping Gold was awarded to Yurts Cornwall, whilst Mother Ivey’s Bay won Gold for being Wildlife Friendly and Trebah Garden was awarded for its International appeal. The Gold for Tourism Event & Festival went to Looe Music Festival.
Successful businesses in the Cornwall Awards will be fast tracked into matching categories in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2017 and possibly invited to represent Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the 2017 National VisitEngland Awards.