BUSINESSES have less than a week to enter this year’s Dorset Tourism Awards.

The annual awards celebrate and praise the county’s best tourism events and businesses.

Last year, the Dorset Tourism Awards attracted a record-breaking 651 entries from businesses across the county.

These included many across Bridport, Beaminster and Lyme Regis with Dorset House, Bearkat Bistro, Bridport Tourist Information Centre, Acorn Inn, The Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant, Highlands End holiday Park, Wood Farm Caravan Park and Dorset Forest Glamping winning gold, silver or bronze awards.

This year, organisers have added additional categories such as wedding venue of the year and tourism innovation, provided a new online entry process with shorter forms and a brand-new website.

The organisers of Dorset Tourism Awards recently won an award themselves.

They received their own gold award in the Awards Trust Mark scheme, which was presented to Services to Tourism, organisers of the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, as well as the Dorset awards, by the Independent Awards Standards Council.

Robin Barker, Services for Tourism director, said: “Tourism is a fast-moving dynamic industry with leaders constantly innovating and investing.

“In judging them we cannot stand still, and the tourism awards of 2019 bear little relation to those of 2008 when we first took them on.

“Feedback from entrants tells us the main reason people now enter the awards is for the free feedback and to improve their business, this being one of the reasons entries have grown each year to a record 651 in 2018.

“It is of course a team effort and I must thank our 50 plus judges and 40 plus sponsors in making it possible.”

Co-director Nell Barrington said: “The awards are all about excellence and we have the privilege of working with some of the best businesses in the country within the different awards schemes.

“It is fantastic to see that the work of our awards team has been recognised with this charter mark.”

For more information and to enter this year’s Dorset Tourism Awards, visit

The deadline for applicants is 11.59pm on April 30