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Which Categories?

Here is a short description of the awards categories for 2017; please note that there is one new category Guided Tours and some changes to existing ones, so please do check to make sure that you fulfil the criteria.  There may well be more than one category you are eligible to enter.

Please note that some of the Beautiful South Awards are not being run by VisitEngland, as such the winners in these awards will not qualify to go through to the national awards, this also applies if you have won a VisitEngland Gold this year.

Access and Inclusivity Award Any tourism business that excels in being accessible and inclusive, and can demonstrate exceptional customer service to all, particularly those with impairments and other access needs ie mobility, auditory, sensory or dietary should enter.

Bed and Breakfast of the Year To enter this award your business must offer exceptional standard of service and outstanding, memorable experience; have no more than 6 guest bedrooms; offer an excellent breakfast; the owners/landlords must live on site; and the business should be referred to in marketing as a ‘bed and breakfast’ establishment.

Café/Tearoom of the Year This award is open to cafés/tearooms that provide great service and serve excellent food from local/regional suppliers.  Entrants must be committed to sourcing produce locally and communicating this to visitors.  Entrants may also consider entering the separate categories of Restaurant/Bistro or Tourism Pub if appropriate. 

Dog Friendly Business of the Year Any tourism business eg accommodation, attractions etc that offer the very best experience to dogs – and their human companions, should enter this category.

Glamping Business of the Year for businesses where Glamping is the main accommodation offer - not an add-on to a campsite or holiday park - who offer an outstanding experience for visitors. 

Large Hotel of the Year Country House, Luxury, City and Business Hotels and larger Boutique Hotels offering full service (ie a minimum of Reception, Bar, Dinner and Breakfast plus probably lunch).  Probably a larger establishment with more than 15 to 20 rooms. Entrants should offer a very high standard of accommodation and excellent customer service.

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year This category is for visitor attractions with more than 75,000 visitors a year, including those that offer pre-booked tickets, museums and galleries, churches and cathedrals, interpretation centres, theme parks, historic houses, gardens, country parks, heritage railways and castles.  Sporting events and other activities eg race days should enter the Experience category.

Restaurant/Bistro of the Year This award is open to restaurants that may be stand alone or part of a hotel and provide great service and serve excellent food from local/regional suppliers.  Note there are also categories for Tourism Pub and Cafe/Tearoom.

Self Catering Holiday of the Year Self-catering accommodation, serviced apartments and flats that are of an excellent standard and offer exceptional customer service should enter.  If your main business is Glamping you should enter that category instead.  A quality grading by a recognised independent body is a useful indicator that the judges will take into consideration.

Small/Boutique Hotel  Guest Houses, Inns, Hotels offering partial service and Restaurants with Rooms offering an outstanding, memorable stay and service.  Dinner, afternoon tea or room service may be offered on occasions, but not full service.  Probably a smaller establishment with fewer than 15 to 20 rooms, though may be larger than this if offering few services. (Bed and Breakfast accommodation should normally enter the separate Bed & Breakfast category).

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year This category is for visitor attractions with less than 75,000 visitors a year and/or fewer than 10 full-time equivalent paid staff, including those that offer pre-booked tickets, museums and galleries, churches and cathedrals, interpretation centres, theme parks, historic houses, gardens, country parks, heritage railways and castles.  Sporting events eg race days should enter the Experience category.

Sustainable Tourism Award Any tourism business that demonstrates proven commitment to sustainable best practice.  Awards and accreditations for sustainability practices will be taken into consideration by the judges as well as the overall quality of experience provided.

Touring, Camping and/or Holiday Park/Village of the Year Caravan holiday parks, holiday and touring parks, camping and touring parks and holiday villages that can demonstrate exceptional customer service and offer an outstanding experience for visitors.  A quality grading by a recognised independent body is a useful indicator that the judges will take into consideration.

Tourism Event of the Year Events could include festivals, fairs, carnivals, shows or celebrations.  They can be paid entry or free but should demonstrate innovation, distinctiveness and should make a significant contribution to the economy of a destination eg attendance/participation figures likely to be in excess of 5,000 visitors.  In this category, where a mystery shop will not take place, it is important that supporting material is submitted; this should include evidence to show that the event brings a significant amount of visitors from out of the local area.  The event could be a one off or a rolling series of annual events. 

Tourism Experience of the Year Tourism businesses that can demonstrate that they have gone the extra mile to deliver an outstanding and innovative customer experience eg activity providers, cookery schools etc should enter.  

Tourism Pub of the Year This category is for pubs that provide brilliant customer service and offer great locally sourced food and drink to tourists and locals, in authentic surroundings.  They should also attract a significant amount of visitors from out of the local area.  Participants of the Great Country Pub Campaign can enter for free.  If they wish to enter another category eg Restaurant/Bistro, Boutique Hotel, B and B and are not members of TSE there will be a fee of £65 + VAT or £45 + VAT for the B&B category.

Customer Service Superstar Award Individuals from the tourist industry that continually go above and beyond, offering exceptional customer service to visitors, should enter this award. They may be nominated by another member of staff, a member of the public, or by themselves. They may be volunteers or paid members of staff. This award is free to enter for members and non members.

Venue and Business Tourism Award This award is open to any organisation that excels in the business tourism sector eg exhibition centres, hotels, conference, wedding and banqueting venues, convention bureaux and destination organisations. 

Visitor Information Service of the Year Tourist Information providers that offer all visitors an excellent standard of customer service and appropriate information.  This should be done through face to face contact as well as utilising information technology but must include responding to individual enquiries.