A LYME Regis business has been named a finalist in the Dorset Tourism Awards.
More than 90 entries were received for this year’s awards after an extended 10-month process due to the COVID pandemic. Sixty businesses have been selected as finalists in various categories and will now have to wait until February 4 to find out if they have won gold, silver, bronze or a special award at the virtual ceremony.
Among those named finalists was multi-award-winning Dorset House in Lyme Regis, in the B&B and Guesthouse of the Year category sponsored by Goadsby.
Run by Lyn and Jason Martin, the successful bed and breakfast was named Winner of Winners in the 2018 Dorset Tourism Awards, and also won gold in the Taste of the West awards 2018/19, as well as several accolades for its breakfasts and hospitality.
The Tunnel Tree Tops in Charmouth was also commended for the New Tourism Business Award, sponsored by Visit Dorset.
This high ropes adventure trail consists of an adrenaline-pumping complex of rope bridges, zip wires and walkways, based at The Tunnel Target Sports Centre, just outside the village.
A spokesperson for The Tunnel Tree Tops said: “After a tough year, we are very proud to have received a commended award in the New Tourism Business category in the 2020 Dorset Tourism Awards!”
This is the eighth year the awards have been held, continuing through unprecedented times for tourism, but the focus on excellence and feedback for entrants has remained as relevant as ever.
Clare Bushby, of headline sponsors Clockwork Marketing, said: “The Dorset Tourism Awards are more vital than ever before. They provide normality during a surreal time, where everything seems weighted against hospitality. Equally as important, they give credit—where credit is more than due.
“Rather than despairing, entrants into this year’s awards have been remarkably inventive when faced with the impact of coronavirus. They have shown, against all the odds, that a pandemic needn’t stand in the way of excellent hospitality. This is in no small part due to their unflinching resolve and unbreakable passion for their industry.
“At Clockwork Marketing, we’re proud to sponsor The Dorset Tourism Awards and have a deep respect for the solidarity they represent. We also salute the admirable businesses taking part. May they enjoy the unbridled success they deserve in the future.”
Chair of the judging panel, Professor Peter Jones, added: “Dorset tourism, like tourism the world over, is demonstrating resilience and fortitude in coping with the impact and implications of COVID-19 in some amazing ways.
“This year’s entries into the Dorset Tourism Awards are no exception. Entrants demonstrated creativity and innovation, passion for the industry, and enthusiasm in providing a great experience for their customers in the most difficult of circumstances.
“Even with an understandably slightly lower number of entries, the standards remained incredibly high, and all entrants are to be congratulated on their commitment to wanting to demonstrate their successes and to the future of tourism in Dorset. Well done!”
Awards organiSer Robin Barker, of Services for Tourism, commented: “The past 10 months have been a challenge for everyone – to survive let alone prosper. Having considered abandoning the Awards I’m so glad we persevered, adapting and changing along the way.
“The delight we’re witnessing amongst finalists on being told of their success makes it all so worthwhile!”
For a full list of finalists click here.