Working with Tourism South East, the annual awards recognise the very top in the tourism industry, working with experts in their fields judging the best of the best.
3 gold awards, 2 silver awards, 3 bronze awards, and 2 commendations went to Isle of Wight businesses across a range of tourism-related activities at last night’s event.
The gold award for the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year went to the Isle of Wight’s Monkey Haven, an award they previously won in 2016. They were also commended in the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism category.
Kelly Wickes, a manager at Monkey Haven based near Newport, spoke of the team effort at the charity and attraction:
“I can’t put it onto words what this means to us as a little charity, and it’s incredible and a massive testament to all of my team that have just worked tirelessly to make the Monkey Haven what it is and we are absolutely thrilled. I never thought in a million years we would be getting gold again at the Beautiful South Awards and I’m lost for words”.
Tom’s Eco Lodge, near Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, took home the gold award for the second year running in the Glamping and Alternative Camping awards. Tapnell Farm’s sister business, East Afton Farmhouse, bagged a silver award for Wedding Venue of the Year.
Away Resorts’ Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park at Bembridge collected a silver medal in the Camping and Caravan Park category.
Lorry Middleton from Hovertravel picked up the gold award for Customer Service, charming the audience in the process. Hovertravel was also commended for their work in Access and Inclusivity. Lorry was humble in accepting his award:
“I’m just a small cog who’s got an amazing award for customer service, but it’s thanks to the team and everyone’s hard work at Hovertravel that’s allowed me to have this award”.
The award means that Lorry will automatically be put forward for the national Tourism Superstar Awards run by the Mirror and Visit England, won in 2018 by Cowes man Jim O’Reilly, from Red Funnel.
The Mill House in Brighstone on the Isle of Wight took home the bronze medal in the self catering accommodation category.
In just their third year, Sibbecks Farm Glamping at Whitwell on the Isle of Wight took home the bronze award for Glamping and Accommodation.
NFU Mutual were sponsors of the evening. Isle of Wight NFU Mutual Senior Agent John Heather attended the awards and was full of praise for the Island winners:
“I think it just emphasises just how important the hospitality industry is on the Isle of Wight and the level that the businesses achieve, the high standards that we achieve here on the Island, I think it just shows how we punch above our weight, with such a small island winning eight awards tonight”.
Will Myles, Managing Director at Visit Isle of Wight collected the bronze award on behalf on Robin Hill for Electric Woods for Tourism Event/Festival of the Year. Will congratulated all of the Island’s winners:
“Well done to all of our award winners and all of the people who have actually put forward their companies, organisations and businesses for these awards. It’s an amazing thing that we’ve done, an amazing thing that the businesses have done and it’s an amazing thing that the Isle of Wight has done. Well done to absolutely everyone involved”.
The event was hosted by travel broadcaster and travel editor of the Independent newspaper Simon Calder at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.