Bournemouth has scooped two top accolades at the 2016 Dorset Tourism Awards for the second year in a row. The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum picked up gold for Small Attraction of the Year and the resort’s new Information Centre took silver for Tourist Information Service of the Year – there were also a string of other successes for Bournemouth businesses and events.
A cliff-top treasure trove filled to the brim with paintings and artefacts, entry to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum includes access to the house – an Italian-style villa overlooking the sea – and entry to an annual programme of exhibitions.
Programmes Officer, Sarah Newman, said: “The Russell-Cotes is full of Victorian charm and it houses some of the most famous Pre-Raphaelite works as well as eclectic collections from around the world, gloriously displayed in its spectacular seaside location. With a full programme of exhibitions, workshops and events, the Russell-Cotes is a small attraction which reaps big rewards for its visitors and we are thrilled that is has been recognised as such.”
Bournemouth’s Tourist Information Centre relocated to Pier Approach in 2015, receiving a world-class makeover as part of a multi-million pound project to enhance the seafront.
Resort Information Manager, Charmaine Denny, said: “We are honoured to receive this recognition from the Dorset Tourism Awards. As award recipients for the second year in a row, it is testament to the ongoing commitment, expertise and professionalism of our dedicated staff.”
Other Bournemouth winners included:
Small Hotel / Boutique Accommodation of the Year – The Grove Hotel (Silver) and Cliff House Hotel (Bronze)
Café & Tearoom of the Year – Little Pickle Deli Café (Bronze)
Tourism Event & Festival of the Year – Shake and Stir Vintage Festival (Silver) and Bournemouth Wheels Festival (Highly Commended)
Venue & Business Tourism Award – BH Live in partnership with Business Events Bournemouth (Bronze)
Tourism Experience of the Year – Dorset Day Trips (Silver) and RockReef on Bournemouth Pier (Bronze)
Unsung Hero Award for Customer Service – Brenden Howard at The Grove Hotel
Large Hotel of the Year – Hilton Bournemouth (Gold)
Director of Tourism for Bournemouth, Mark Smith, said: “This is a wonderful result for Bournemouth Tourism and all of its friends and partners.
“The team at the Russell-Cotes constantly strives to unearth the work and passion of Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes and I am delighted that staff have been rewarded for their efforts.
“The Tourist Information Centre’s move was particularly momentous for such a well-established seaside resort. Therefore, it is even more impressive that the staff have managed to maintain and expand on excellent standards of service as to warrant this high level of recognition.”
The 2016 Dorset Tourism Awards took place on Thursday 13 October at the Tank Museum in Bovington and attracted a capacity audience of 240 guests.
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