A number of Cornish companies feature among the 90+ finalists for next month’s South West Tourism Awards.

In total, the awards received 476 entries from across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bath, Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

For the first time since February 2020 in Exeter Cathedral, the region’s tourism awards are returning to their face-to-face format with a celebratory evening planned at Exeter’s Sandy Park on April 7.

The awards, which themselves won a national accolade in 2021, achieving the ‘Outstanding’ accolade in the Awards Trust Mark scheme, are the culmination of 11 months of evidence gathering, online entry, judging and county awards.

In what has been another difficult year for tourism they are recognised for their rigour and independence of judging. Over 70 judges spent months poring over entry submissions, websites, social media and review sites, as well as carrying out business visits, many of them mystery visits. Reports and recommendations were then submitted to an independent panel who made the final decisions.

After two years of online events, businesses and sponsors are looking forward to enjoying the kind of camaraderie and celebration that is at the core of south west hospitality, with awards presented at a black tie dinner at Sandy Park.

Robin Barker, director of Services for Tourism Ltd, which manages the awards, said: “Tourism has been referred to as ‘the happiness business’ and after two years of online events I can’t wait to share some happiness once again with the region’s tourism businesses and the many sponsors, partners and supporters who make the awards possible.  It has been a life-changing two years in so many ways – roll on 7 of April!”

Among the many Cornish businesses hoping for success will be Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School, which has been shortlisted for the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award and also the Experience of the Year Award.

Two Cornish businesses are named as finalists in the Casual Dining category (The Rockpool and Bango Kitchen), while The Minack Theatre will be hoping to be named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year.

For a full list of finalists and commended entrants, click here.