11 May is Somerset Day, a day to celebrate all that is special about Somerset, including those outstanding tourism and hospitality businesses who are Flying the Flag for Somerset. They are all invited to enter the free Bristol Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards 2021/2022, which launches today.
The Awards cover Bristol, Bath, Somerset and part of Exmoor and offer businesses the chance to win not just locally, but to progress on to the regional South West Awards and – for matching categories – the national VisitEngland Awards. The awards are free to enter as they are supported by many sponsors and partners.
The launch comes fresh from the conclusion of the 2020/21 awards, held in what was an exceptionally challenging year for tourism, hospitality and the world. The awards had to change their format several times, with widespread praise from entrants including such comments as “It has been an incredibly difficult year for all in the tourism and hospitality industry and to be able to kick-start life post-pandemic with these awards gives us an enormous psychological and marketing boost - our champagne flutes are overflowing.” Other entrants listed the benefits of entering as increasing bookings, generating PR, boosting staff morale, as well as the free feedback on how their business could be improved.
The awards cover the full range of tourism-related businesses including pubs, cafes, restaurants, accommodation, wedding and business venues, attractions, events and experiences. As well as opportunities to submit entries for unsung heroes, new businesses, dog friendly, accessibility and sustainability. This year there is a new award for Resilience and Innovation that recognises businesses within the tourism industry who have demonstrated innovation, resilience and adaptation, along with support for their local communities, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Awards organiser Nell Barrington says “A great part of the awards is hearing how the businesses benefit and despite the horrible year we have all just had I heard many positive stories from winners which makes the awards so worthwhile. We have included them on the website so others can see as it is really heart warming. I hope that everyone has a really busy summer but that they can also find time to enter by 31 August”.
Deborah Heather, Director of headline sponsors Quality in Tourism, says: “The 2020 Tourism Awards were without doubt the most inspiring we've ever experienced; so inspiring that Quality in Tourism leapt at the chance to become Headline Sponsor for Bristol Bath and Somerset awards in 2021. The quality and ingenuity shown was legendary; we are so excited to be involved in 2021”.
Free online workshops are being offered to help entrants complete their application with the first being on 25 May.
All entries must be submitted online by 31 August but with hopefully a very busy summer ahead it is recommended that businesses start as soon as possible.
Happy #SomersetDay #Flytheflagforsomerset