Newquay area tops for tourism
TOURISM businesses in the Newquay area have proved they are the best in the business across the South West after scooping prestigious awards on Thursday.
Hendra Holiday Park, Screech Owl Sanctuary, Newquay Activity Centre, The Headland Hotel & Spa and the Scarlet Restaurant were winners at the annual South West Tourism Excellence Awards finale, which was held at the Ashton Gate stadium in Bristol.
Hendra Holiday Park was presented with a trio of awards, including gold in the holiday and village of the year category, silver in the camping and caravanning section and a bronze in the sustainable tourism award.
Screech Owl Sanctuary near Indian Queens was bestowed gold in the small attraction of the year category, while Newquay Activity Centre on Headland Road was awarded silver in the active and sporting experience class.
The Scarlet Restaurant in Mawgan Porth was awarded bronze in the restaurant and bistro of the year category and the Headland Hotel & Spa won bronze in the self-catering holiday provider of the year award.
ITV news presenter Kylie Pentelow hosted the awards with an opening address by Alison Rice, who is a travel journalist and the chairman of judges.
The awards were the biggest ever regional gathering of South West tourism businesses, with 135 different awards presented following a rigorous judging process in which a record 605 entries were considered. All entrants underwent a rigorous short-listing process with 380 being visited by a team of 36 ‘mystery shoppers’.
Entry was free and all entrants received feedback on how they had done, giving them useful tips for future success.
Janine Hyatt, a director at Hendra Holiday Park, said: “We are of course delighted with winning another set of awards, especially for winning a gold in competition with so many excellent businesses across the whole of the South West.
“We are celebrating 45 years in business in 2017 so this is the perfect start to what looks like being a very busy holiday season for Cornwall.
“This is a magnificent reward for all the hard work all the teams at Hendra have put in to deliver the best holiday experience possible to guests and we are looking forward to opening for Easter following a big winter programme of upgrading areas of the park and installing new facilities.
Tom Screech, who owns Screech Owl Sanctuary with wife Carolyn, said: “We were both shocked and delighted to win the gold award at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards which spans six counties and had six finalists up for awards in our category for best small attraction in the South West.
“We had won the gold award for the second year running in the Cornwall Tourism Awards but really didn’t expect to get gold in the South West awards.
“We are very proud of our sanctuary and the loyal and dedicated team that we have working here.”
Rob Barber, the director at Newquay Activity Centre, said: “2017 has started brilliantly for us. We are thrilled to be recognised again as one of the best activity providers in the region. We continue to be number one on Tripadvisor for activities in Newquay and this year we have introduced some fantastic new activities, including our new Super Stand Up Paddleboard and our progressor surf coaching weekends with former UK surf pro Johnny Fryer.
“We will continue to provide amazing ocean adventures for old and new visitors this year, and I’d like to thank our bookings manager Hannah Adams, my partner Claire Durkin and the rest of the team for their excellent efforts. Here’s to a fantastic 2017 season for Newquay.”
Many finalists in the awards were also nominated to represent the region in the VisitEngland awards, the finalists for which will be announced in March.
Alison Rice added: “Yet again the South West leads the way in tourism excellence. Whatever 2017 throws at this very special region of Britain, tonight’s award-winners will excel at what they do best – offering all-comers the best possible visitor experiences.”
Robin Barker, of Services for Tourism, said: “Excellence is elusive. It takes creativity, commitment, investment, and persistence to achieve. Standards have to be maintained for every guest, in all situations, at all hours of every day. Achieving excellence is one thing, maintaining it in a world of ever-rising expectations is an even greater challenge. So well done to all of this year’s winners – you are at the cutting edge of this region’s top industry and are genuine business icons.”