Hints & Tips

If you run an excellent tourism business you stand a chance of winning an award, whatever the size or scale. These hints and tips are designed to make the entry process as painless and productive as possible. They also explain the entry requirements and what the judges will be looking for.

Your business or visitor experience must be located in the relevant area of South West England there are separate awards covering the following areas:

Please make sure you enter the appropriate schemes.

*Businesses in Wiltshire & Gloucestershire (except South Gloucestershire) should enter direct into the South West awards, unless they are members of Bristol or Bath or Somerset DMOs in which case they should enter the Bristol, Bath and Somerset awards.

  • Please read the criteria here or at the start of the entry forms carefully to ensure that you are eligible to enter.
  • The judges are looking for evidence of excellence, innovation and quality improvements in the last 2 years. If you entered last year then make it really clear what improvements/additions have been made since your last entry.
  • If you have won gold in the same category in the South West for two or more years, we’d advise considering a different category or offering to help us with judging.
  • Use the practice form to prepare and hone your entry and share drafts with colleagues.
  • Read the questions and the "checklist" points (after each question) before you start and ensure that you answer fully.
  • Don’t exceed the word limit but do provide a full answer for each question, the judges need to know why you are excellent. In your final online submission you will not be able to exceed the word limit.
  • Answer all the questions. Marks are awarded for each question and any missed questions will mean your entry cannot be short-listed.
  • Visit England has a range of business advice should you need any assistance regarding sustainability click here or access here.
  • Tell the judges why you are different, unique and be passionate about your commitment to excellence.
  • Provide evidence of success for each question including weblinks that relate to each answer.
  • Answer factually and honestly. If you are mystery shopped, your claims will be checked.
  • Feedback and quotes from visitors make strong evidence. Tourism is a people business and judges are looking for evidence that you have made a difference to someone’s visit.
  • Presentation matters! Make it easy to read - bullet points are far easier to read than long paragraphs.
  • Use simple English and avoid jargon.
  • Do a spell check and proof read – and if possible get someone else to read through your entry to check anything you may have missed.
  • Make your entry stand out by focusing on what is unusual or innovative, don’t be modest, this is your chance to shine.
  • Check every page and link to your website(s) and other online presense - judges will be looking here too.

If you need help please email the Awards team awards@services4tourism.co.uk.

Prepare supporting evidence, if desired

In all entries it is possible to include links to websites illustrating your responses or to cloud files containing relevant evidence.  In some categories you may also attach a file (eg mystery shop report) but our experience is that the best entry forms and ones that judges prefer are usually those without attachments.  Our  recommendation is to focus on giving concise answers on the entry form and making sure you answer the questions  If you do this then additional files can simply become a time consuming and unnecessary distraction for both entrants and judges (ie quality is more important than quantity).

Complete your entry

  1. Firstly download the practice forms here and use these to develop your entry. 
  2. Once you are happy with your answers then click here to cut and paste your answers into the online entry (you can still save and print from here).
  3. Finally click submit before the closing date shown on the key dates page.