After 7 months of assessing evidence and a rigorous 3-phase judging process, the winners of this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards (#CTA18) have been announced. Now in their 17th year, the awards saw 80 awards presented across 26 different categories, with new ones this year for Tourism Innovation and New Businesses. The awards celebration was enhanced by a stimulating presentation from Executive Producer of Doc Martin, Mark Crowdy, who was in turn the recipient of a surprise Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award for the Doc Martin team and the show’s impact on Cornish Tourism.
It was the first time the Awards had been held in Truro Cathedral, with a record 398 guests attending what was an inspiring event, with high-tech lighting showing the Cathedral at its very best.
Awards organiser Robin Barker welcomed all winners: “I’d like to congratulate you for having the courage to have a go, and put yourself through what is recognised as the country’s most rigorous tourism awards judging process.”
Speaking after the event Mark Warnes, Property and Portfolio Director at Headline sponsors Hoseasons, said: “Tonight is obviously about the winners, but the truth is every one of our finalists is in their own way a fantastic advert for what keeps this county at the forefront of the UK tourism industry. The pride and passion they have shown in their businesses over the last 12 months is why people continue to see Cornwall as one of Britain’s best holiday destinations and why holidaymakers come back year after year.”
Head of Visit Cornwall, Malcolm Bell, commented: “The awards shine the spotlight of excellence on some of our best and leading tourism operators in Cornwall. It is this excellence that makes Cornwall one of, if not the leading, UK holiday regions. It celebrates not only the businesses but also the team work from staff, Managers and owners as only team work can deliver excellence.”
The 26 award categories covered everything from surf schools, cafes and hotels to cottages, spas, holiday parks and camping and touring parks. Other Gold winners on the night included The Park, Cornwall, Newquay Activity Centre, The Sandy Duck B&B, Polmanter Touring Park, Carbis Bay Hotel and C-Bay Spa, Pentillie Castle and Talland Bay Hotel.
Food and Drink Golds went to The Cornish Vegan café, The Pandora Inn and The Fish House. The Self Catering Gold went to Carn Mar, whilst Attraction Golds went to The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno. Rick Stein’s Cookery School took Gold for Learning Experience with Select South West Tours and Bude Canoe Experience sharing joint Gold for Guided Tour.
Gold for the new Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism category went to Railholiday, while Lappa Valley Steam Railway took Gold for Accessibility and Inclusivity and Treworgey took Gold for Dog Friendly. The Tourism Event and Festival Gold went to Boardmasters, with a special community award going to Looe Saves the Day. Bodmin Visitor Information Centre showed their class once more, taking Gold for Visitor Information. Gold in the popular Wildllife Friendly category was taken by Newquay Sea Safaris and Fishing.
Successful businesses in the Cornwall Awards will be fast tracked into matching categories in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2019, to be held for the first time under Concorde at Aerospace Bristol.