THE region’s leading tourism businesses have been recognised at this year’s South-West Tourism Excellence Awards.

Among the winners on the night were four Somerset businesses who received top awards during the evening held at Weston’s Grand Pier last Tuesday.

The Queens Arms in Corton Denham won a silver award in the B&B and Guest Accommodation category while the Dunkery Beacon Country House in Dunster was highly commended.

Cross Lane House in Minehead was given a silver award in the Small Hotel category and Clavelshay Barn in North Petherton was highly recommended in the Taste of the South-West Awards.

In total 98 trophies were handed out to businesses and individuals including two Outstanding Contribution awards, the first going to Glastonbury’s Michael Eavis, who judges said had brought millions of visitors to the region, and the second going to Carol Wager for her passion in delivering outstanding customer service to 7,000 tourism employees across the region.

Chair of judges Alistair Handyside said: “Once again the entrants have surpassed themselves in showing that investment, innovation and creativity remain at the heart of the visitor economy in the region.”

Robin Barker of Services for Tourism, who manages the awards programme, added: “There’s little more gratifying in life than knowing you’re making a positive difference, and the feedback we receive from business tells us the awards do just that.”

This year’s awards saw a record number of nominations with judges considering 425 businesses for the awards, each going through a rigorous three-stage judging process.

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