A day-long online awards ceremony honored Dorset’s ‘resilient, creative and innovative’ tourism businesses after two years of the pandemic.
The Dorset Tourism Awards have revealed 54 winners, with three more to be announced at an in-person event in May.
The awards, in their ninth year, recognized pubs, cafes, restaurants, activities and accommodation. Organizers said many attendees also found time to become “significant contributors” to efforts to support key workers and those in difficulty.
Deborah Heather, of title sponsor Quality in Tourism, said: “In another challenging year, we see the caliber of Dorset Awards entrants and finalists continue to improve. It’s impressive to see the creativity and innovation in this industry.
“I am both humbled and immensely proud of the industry and wish everyone the best for the awards and for 2022.”
Judges’ chairman, Professor Peter Jones, said: ‘Over the past two years the tourism industry has seen the lows of lockdown and the highs of holiday enquiries, all in the same year.
“What this year’s judging has shown is how resilient, creative and innovative tourism businesses in Dorset need to be to survive. As this year’s winners have shown, they work exceptionally hard to overcome setbacks and showcase the excellence that Dorset tourism offers to all its visitors.
Amanda Park, Head of Tourism Development at Visit Dorset, said: “We are delighted to support the awards which celebrate the variety and quality of Dorset’s tourism businesses and showcase their hard work and achievements.
“As a sponsor of the New Business category, it’s fantastic to see the industry continue to grow and develop despite the challenges of the past two years.”
David Bailey, Chairman of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Destination Management Board, said: “It is important that we celebrate and recognize the quality of our tourism and hospitality offering which makes a significant contribution to the local economy.
Organizer Robin Barker, of Services for Tourism, said: ‘I have been truly impressed with the ability of tourism businesses in Dorset to both innovate and give back. I take my hat off to you all.
The winners were as follows.
Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award (sponsor: Bournemouth University): Ellwood Cottages, Blandford.
B&B and Guesthouse of the Year (Goadsby): Gold St John’s Guest House, Weymouth; Silver Channel View Guesthouse, Weymouth.
Business events and wedding venue (Furleigh Estate): Gold Business Events Venue Marsham Court Hotel. Golden Wedding Venue Highcliffe Castle.
Coffee/tea room (Clipper): Gold, Picnic Park Deli, Bournemouth; silver, Tangerine Café & Gallery, Beaminster; bronze, EBIKE Cafe, Weymouth; praised Break Cat Café, Bournemouth.
Camping and caravan park (Book anytime): Gold, Monkton Wyld Holiday Park, Charmouth; silver, South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping Park, Poole; bronze, Higher Moor Farm Campsite, Weymouth.
Casual dining and restaurant (Furleigh Estate): Gold, The Station Kitchen, Bridport; silver, Nicetta, Weymouth; bronze, Shalims Indian Restaurant, Weymouth.
Company accepting dogs (Pear Marketing): Gold, Marsham Court Hotel; Silver, Burnbake Campsite and Forest Lodges, Corfe Castle; felicity, Polygon Pets Ltd, Poole.
Ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism (Bournemouth Water): Gold, West Bay Discovery Centre, Bridport; silver, Dorset Forest Garden Glamping, Beaminster; felicity, Naked Coffee, Bournemouth.
Experience of the year, active or in apprenticeship (Saffery Champness): Gold, All Hallows’ Farmhouse Cookery School, Wimborne St Giles; guides to the Jurassic Silver Coast, Milborne St Andrew; bronze, Shore Campers – Campervan Hire, Bournemouth.
Glamping business (NFU Mutual Wessex): Gold, Dorset Forest Garden Glamping, Beaminster; silver, The Yurt at Hollands Farmhouse, Dorchester; bronze, At Goathill Farm, Sherborne.
holiday park (Tozers): Gold, Highlands End Holiday Park, Bridport; Silver, Golden Cap Holiday Park, Chideock; bronze, Waterside Holiday Park & Spa, Weymouth; felicity, Durdle Door Holiday Park, Lulworth.
big hotel (Hotel Perfect): Gold, Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth; silver, Holiday Inn Bournemouth; bronze, RNLI College, Poole; felicity, Moonfleet Manor Hotel, Weymouth.
Great tourist attraction (Love to visit): Gold, Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, Ashley Heath; silver, Dorset Museum, Dorchester; bliss, Adventure Wonderland, Christchurch.
New tourism business (Visit Dorset): Gold, Carey’s Secret Garden, Wareham; silver, the arms of the king, Dorchester; bronze, At Goathill Farm, Sherborne; felicity, Apex Expeditions, Poundbury.
ad of the year (sponsored by Dorset Food & Drink): Gold, The Acorn Inn, Evershot; silver, The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury; bronze, The Keys to the Cross, Sherborne.
Resilience and innovation (Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Tourism): Gold, Weymouth Bay RIB Charter; Silver, Shore Campers – Campervan Hire, Bournemouth; bronze, Sculpture at the Lakes, Pallington.
Self-catering accommodation (Touch Stay): Gold, Spring Cottage, Wareham; silver, Greenwood Grange Holidays, Dorchester; bronze, Frog by the sea, Chideock.
small hotel (Mechanical Marketing): Gold, The PIG-on the Beach, Studland; silver, The Grange at Oborne, Sherborne; bronze, The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury.
Small tourist attraction (Dorset Resort): Gold, Nothe Fort, Weymouth; silver, Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington; bronze, West Bay Discovery Centre, Bridport; felicity, Bridport Museum Trust.
Tourism Event/Festival (Dorset Magazine): Finalists, FORM – The Sculpture Exhibition: Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington.
unsung hero (Sculpture by the lakes): Christine Hughes, Moors Valley Country Park; silver, Mick Callaghan, Bournemouth Electric Club.
The winners of Special apprenticeship price (sponsored by NFU Mutual Bournemouth), Outstanding Contribution to Dorset Tourism (sponsored by Darren Northeast PR) and winner of winners (Dorset LEP) will be announced in May when the winners and sponsors gather at Sculpture by the Lakes, Dorchester.