The 2020/21 Dorset Tourism Awards have opened for entry and businesses in Dorset are invited to start their submissions.

The awards, now in their eighth year, cover the whole of Dorset, offering businesses the chance to win not just in the county, but to progress on to the regional south west awards and - for matching categories - the national VisitEngland awards.

Last year’s entrants describe the benefits of entering the awards as increasing bookings, generating PR, helping with staff morale, retention and recruitment, as well as getting free feedback and how their business could be improved.

Categories cover the full range of tourism-related businesses, including pubs and cafes, as well as accommodation, attractions and events. There are also generic categories for unsung heroes, innovation, new businesses, dog friendly, accessibility and sustainability.

At last year's Dorset Tourism Awards, a number of west Dorset businesses were recognised and received accolades. This included West Bay play area, Lyme Bay Rib Charter, Mapperton Weddings, The Coach House Cafe, Bridport Tourist Information Centre, Dorset Forest Garden Glamping, Highlands End Holiday Park, West Bay Discovery Centre, Three Horseshoes Pub and Kitchen, Acorn Inn, The Ollerod, Merry Hill Barn, Lovegrove at The Ollerod and Wood Farm Caravan Park.

Awards organiser Robin Baker said: “It is always great to hear from entrants what a positive change the awards can bring.

“To help everyone submit their best entry, we are running a series of workshops across the south west and I look forward to seeing many businesses there.

“Our top tip is to start preparing now, giving yourself time to consider all categories and liaising with colleagues before clicking the submit button.”

The awards are free to enter and are supported by many sponsors.

Claire Bushby, managing director of headline sponsors Clockwork Marketing, said: “At Clockwork Marketing we are proud to be headline sponsors of the Dorset Tourism Awards.

“For 25 years we have boosted hospitality bookings throughout the south west. Dorset is an English country fantasy come to life - a marketer’s dream.

“We are excited to be far from the madding crowd and look forward to helping Dorset hospitality businesses thrive.”

For full details of the awards, visit All entries must be submitted online by April 26, but with Easter coming up, it is recommended that businesses start as soon as possible.