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steamrailwayhavenstreetsunTourism businesses across the Island are celebrating after being crowned at The Beautiful South Awards 2015.

Hosted by Tourism South East, the tourism elite of South and South East England gathered at Brighton’s Grand Hotel on Wednesday night (2nd December) for the glittering, black tie awards ceremony, sponsored by Shepherd Neame.

This year there were 120 entries from businesses in the South East which were narrowed down into 62 finalists winning either Gold, Silver or Bronze at the prestigious Tourism awards celebration.

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Established over 20 years ago, the Beautiful South Awards help drive ambition and raise standards throughout the region rewarding quality, innovation and customer service.

The Island’s winners were:

Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year

Bronze – Lower Hyde, Park Resorts, Shanklin

Bronze – Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park, Bembridge

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

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Silver – Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year

Gold – Tom’s Eco Lodge, Tapnell Farm

Tourism Event of the Year

Bronze – Electric Woods – Robin Hill Country Park, Downend

Visitor Information Provider of the Year

Gold – Isle of Wight Visitor Information Centre/Travel Ambassadors, Isle of Wight

Commenting on the awards, Nigel Smith, CEO of Tourism South East said:

“It was a fantastic evening at the Grand Hotel and a real privilege to be in the company of so many dedicated and passionate tourism businesses.  The excellent quality of facilities, service and approach makes our role of promoting the South East so much easier and is one of the main reasons why we are the most popular UK tourist region outside London.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, added:

“Congratulations to those who have made it through to the finals – they should feel justifiably proud of their achievement.

“The Tourism South East Beautiful South Awards are a fantastic accolade for these tourism businesses and for the Island as it helps put us on the map as a destination of excellence”.

The Island wins a terrific range of tourism awards and it is important that they are highlighted to let customers know they are booking with a winning company.

The new ‘award-winners’ page on the VIOW consumer website, is due to go live in the New Year and if any tourism-related business has received an award in the last 12 months, they are asked to e-mail the details to [email protected].

Tom Turney of Tapnell Farm said:

“It was great to be back to the Beautiful South Awards, and this year walk away with a Gold Award! It is a reflection of all the hard work we have put in at Tom’s Eco Lodge over the last year and winning the award on the night was an amazing feeling for all of our team. With so many exciting new things coming to Tapnell Farm next year, we hope to back competing for more awards in 2016!”

The winners are now invited to champion the South and South East England at VisitEngland’s Tourism Excellence Awards taking place during English Tourism Week in March 2016.

Photograph: Paul Fletcher Photography

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