Amid a difficult year, several local businesses have been honoured at the Dorset Tourism Awards 2020/21 – including a gold medal for Burnbake Forest Lodges and Campsites.
In spite of a year set back by the pandemic, the awards still went ahead to celebrate the brightest sparks in the county’s tourism industry.
This year, the awards were presented online over five different sessions on Thursday 4th February 2021. A total of 61 awards over 22 categories were presented in total.
Burnbake Forest Lodges and Campsites was one of the area’s top honoured venues – which took home first place in the ‘Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year’ category.
It is located in Rempstone Forest between Corfe Castle and Studland, and offers both camping and luxury lodges to tourists seeking a classic Dorset country break.
A spokesperson for Burnbake said:
“We are overwhelmed to have won in such a challenging year. The staff and I have worked so hard to deliver exceptional customer service to all of our guests.
“Plans for the future are to be able to open (government permitting) and to continue to offer guests a warm welcome while ensuring they feel safe in our park.”
The business will now be automatically considered for the regional South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2021.
Burnbake was not the only local business to take home prizes at the tourism awards.
Swanage’s Peppina restaurant won the third placed bronze in the ‘Casual Dining’ award category. On its Facebook feed, it said:
Fore/Adventure in Studland, which offers a range of outdoor activities from kayaking to snorkelling, also took home a bronze award for ‘Experience of the Year’. It said:
“Thrilled to be recognised for our work in Dorset by Dorset Tourism Awards and winning the ‘Experience of The Year’ Bronze award. Thanks to everyone for their support through this tough time and our super staff team! Looking forward to brighter days ahead.”
Swanage Coastal Park also won bronze in Camping, Caravaning and Hotel Park of the Year.
Repeat win for Tank Museum
The Tank Museum was also honoured in the ceremony, receiving the ‘Large Visitor Attraction of the Year’ award for the second time in a row.
Nik Wyness, Head of Marketing at the Tank Museum, said:
“2020 was a difficult year for tourism and we’ve all had to adapt quickly to the complexities of working within the new restrictions.
“We see this award as recognition of the immense effort from our staff to maintain the best possible standards, despite the challenging operating environment.
“We’re looking forward to opening up soon and I’m confident that the resilient nature of Dorset tourism business means we can all look forward to a prosperous future.”
Tourism shows “resilience and fortitude”
This was the 8th year for the awards – and it was held online as a result of Covid.
Chair of the judging panel, Professor Peter Jones said:
“Dorset tourism, like tourism the world over, is demonstrating resilience and fortitude in coping with the impact and implications of Covid-19 in some amazing ways.
“Entrants demonstrated creativity and innovation, passion for the industry, and enthusiasm in providing a great experience for their customers in the most difficult of circumstances.
Full list of winners
To see the full list of winners, visit the Dorset Tourism Awards’ website.