Over 300 guests were celebrating last night (17 November) as the winners were announced in Truro Cathedral for the 21st annual Cornwall Tourism Awards.
65 awards were presented in wide ranging categories from accessible and inclusive tourism and dog-friendly business to large hotel and holiday park of the year. Guests were spellbound by an aerial performance from the Off The Wall Aerial Dance Circus and enjoyed a wide range of Cornish food and drink.
Four surprise awards were announced with two awards for Outstanding Contribution to Cornish Tourism presented. The first was to Nigel Burnett, Director of Trebah Garden, for his 20 plus years developing Trebah and other top attractions into multiple award winning destinations. Guests then gave a standing ovation as a further Outstanding Contribution award was announced for Visit Cornwall’s Malcolm Bell, who was praised by awards organiser Robin Barker for his vision, innovation and courage in over 30 years of tourism leadership.
There was also a special Tourism Leadership award presented to Forever Cornwall, and the evening ended with a further ovation for Hendra Holiday Park, winning Winner of Winners for their multiple success over 50 years of operation.
Most winners will now be considered for the South West Tourism Excellence Awards to be presented at Eden Project in March 2023 and possibly invited to represent Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the 2023 national VisitEngland Awards.
Deborah Heather, Director of headline sponsors Quality in Tourism, says: “Once again Cornwall has delivered an amazing group of dedicated and inspiring award winners, we are honoured to be part of the process. Congratulations to all the finalists.”
Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall, says: “The 21st Cornwall Tourism Awards celebrated the hard work and investments, not only by the owners, but by the managers and staff of amazing businesses. Over the last two decades the awards have been a driver in creating a step change in the quality of our tourism offer. “I was surprised and humbled to receive my award for outstanding contribution to tourism.”
Awards organiser Robin Barker of Services for Tourism, a long-time colleague of Malcolm Bell, commented: “After a wait of three years since our last face-to-face awards ceremony it was a delight to celebrate with Cornwall’s leading tourism businesses once again. I was especially honoured to be invited to announce the special award to Malcolm Bell, who has done so much to transform tourism in Cornwall and beyond.”
For a full list of winners, click here.