The finalists have been revealed today (Tuesday) by Tourism South East. The Isle of Wight is represented in 4 separate categories.
Tom’s Eco Lodge is nominated again in the Glamping Business category, whilst sister property East Afton House is nominated in the Self Catering Accommodation of the Year category – in it’s first year of trading.
Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park has been shortlisted in the Camping, Caravanning and Holiday Park/Village of the year category.
Speaking about the Island’s finalists, Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight said:
“It’s great to see the Isle of Wight is recognised for it’s tourism businesses in the Beautiful South Tourism Awards, the warm welcome they offer, the high quality of the accommodation and the service they provide.
“We hope that Tom’s Eco Lodge, East Afton Farm and Whitecliff Bay are all gold medal winners at the awards – there is no doubt in my mind that they deserve it!”
Visit Isle of Wight itself has been shortlisted in the Visitor Information Service of the Year category.
Will Myles commented:
“What a day to come to work and find out you’ve been shortlisted! It’s a little bit unexpected, but with the team that we’ve got, not totally!”
“The team itself is a small team, front facing, they do lots of different things around the Island, they see over 20 000 people each year in the visitor centre. They give them lots of information about sustainable travel, where to go, places to see, it’s just an amazing programme that they can actually talk about the Island with such passion.
“Helen, who’s our visitor centre manager and we have an new apprentice called Chloe, work together in the visitor centre, so it’s all down to them and the team behind them as well giving them all the information they need, but they’re the front facing people and well done them. “
Will pointed out that the competition is tough:
“These are the Tourism South East awards, so you’re including places like Kent, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, all across the south of England and we’ve been shortlisted for this award. That’s amazing. We’re playing up there with the serious big boys on this.”
Judges in the Beautiful South Awards were instructed to look for evidence not just of ‘good’ but of ‘excellent’, so to be a shortlisted finalist is a very significant achievement.
Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park, owned and operated by Away Resorts, has been shortlisted for Camping and Caravanning and Holiday Park/Village of the Year. Away Resorts Operations Director Greg Lashley said:
“We are delighted that Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park on the Isle of Wight has been named as a finalist in the Camping and Caravanning and Holiday Park/Village of the Year category for the Beautiful South Awards.
“The Beautiful South Awards are highly regarded in the industry and it is a true honour to be one of the finalists. It means a lot to the team on the park and to the operator as a whole as it is recognition of all of the hard work we have put in across the year along with the millions that Away Resorts has invested in new accommodation, facilities and infrastructure at Whitecliff Bay, to make it the most desirable holiday park on the Isle of Wight.”
The Beautiful South Awards will be held on 5th December in Brighton.