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The South East’s Best Tourism Businesses celebrate

The Beautiful South Awards at the Grand Hotel Brighton saw TV and radio presenter of sports events including Crufts, Mark Jones, celebrate with the cream of the South East’s tourism industry. 74 businesses and tourism professionals received Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies at what has become the industry’s year end highlight.  You can see a short film of the evening here.

One of the biggest winners on the night was The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, which scooped Gold in the Large Attraction, Business Tourism and Accessibility categories.  

Other notable wins included The Bell in Ticehurst, East Sussex crowned Tourism Pub of the Year; The Hawk Conservancy Trust winning Gold in the Small Attraction category and Gold for Tom’s Ecolodge at Tapnell Farm on the Isle of Wight in the Glamping category. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, Buckmore Park Karting and Leeds Castle with its Festival of Flowers brought Golds home for Kent. Oxford Visitor Information Centre came top in the Visitor Information Services category.  Winner of Guided Tour of the Year was Brighton and Beyond, Spa Experience was won by Utopia Spa at Alexander House. Blenheim Palace took Gold in the Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism Award with Waddesdon Manor winning International Visitor Experience of the Year.

Amongst the outstanding accommodation providers of 2018/19 were The Vineyard in Berkshire and Gravetye Manor in West Sussex which were crowned Large and Small Hotels of the Year respectively.  Hoburne Naish won Holiday Park/Village of the Year and worthy winner of the B&B and self catering Golds were Boreham House in East Sussex and East Afton Farmhouse on the Isle of Wight and one of the biggest cheers on the night was for Ami Culver, individual winner of the Tourism Customer Service Superstar Award.

Run by Tourism South East in partnership with Services for Tourism Ltd, the Awards recognise achievement in the tourism industry over the last 18 months. Through this recognition and the benefits which flow from it, they help drive the ambitions of businesses throughout the South East and encourage them to raise their game.

Nigel Smith, Chief Executive of Tourism South East, said, “Achieving excellence isn’t easy – it takes vision, years of commitment and a lot of hard work from talented people. All of the finalists have got these qualities in abundance. They can be proud of what they have achieved and the example they are setting for others. I was blown away last night by the sheer quality of tourism businesses we have got in the South East and how their numbers are increasing every year. Many of the winners are truly world class. 

I am extremely grateful to the sponsors and voluntary judges who make the Awards possible. Once again, our headline sponsor, the Grand Brighton, pulled out all the stops to make the Awards a very special end of year celebration.”

General Manager of the Grand Brighton, Andrew Mosley, said “We were delighted to host the Beautiful South Awards as well as sponsoring the event once more. It is always fantastic to join together the region’s best businesses for a night of celebrating successes.  Congratulations to all the worthy winners on the night from all of the team at The Grand Brighton.  Events like the Beautiful South Awards really help to shine a spotlight on the quality of the hospitality industry within the South East. It was wonderful to be a part of it.’

Twitter @BStourismawards #BSTA2018