Devon businesses are among 18 finalists from the South West in this year’s national Visit England awards.
Industry leaders have hailed the record-breaking achievement as further evidence of the region’s appeal to visitors.
A total of 67 finalists have been announced for the Visit England awards. The competition is linked with the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, which held its regional ceremony at the Eden Project in February. Many of the winners had also been successful in the Devon Tourism Awards.
Since January, the regional contenders have been pitted against businesses from across the country, with the best selected to represent the South West at the Visit England awards in Manchester on May 20, where they are guaranteed to receive a gold, silver, bronze or highly commended award.
Devon boasts five finalists, including Oakdown Country Holiday Park, near Sidmouth, and The Salty Monk in Sidford.
The Arundell Arms Hotel at Lifton is a finalist in the Business Tourism category, while Calvert Trust Exmoor is shortlisted in the Access for All category and Gidleigh Park at Chagford amongst the Small Hotels.
Chairman of the South West judging panel Alistair Handyside said: “Eighteen finalists in the Visit England National Tourism Awards is a brilliant result for the South West, and will help maintain our position as the country’s number one holiday destination.”
Robin Barker, of the regional awards organisers Services for Tourism, said: “The South West awards scheme goes from strength to strength, and there’s no doubt that the local and regional winners have taken every chance to hone their entry and product as they have gone through the awards phases.
“One of our annual ambitions is to showcase the quality that this region offers, and with so many of our winners going on to national success we will achieve just that. We will have to wait until May 20 to find out what they’ve won, but they are all worthy ambassadors for the region.”