TOURISM attractions are delighted after Weymouth beach was named as one of the best in the country in new awards out today.

The borough council run sands will be flying a flag for the summer season of 2013 after retained its Seaside Award in Keep Britain Tidy adminstered scheme.

Businesses on the beach welcomed the award and said that they hoped it came before the start of a bumper tourism season for the town.

Melanie Rush, who runs the beach donkeys, said: “It is definitely brilliant news.

“Such a lot of hard work goes into the beach.

“People work very hard to make it clean and attractive.

“There is plenty to do on the beach and it is a definitely a big draw.”

She added: “The beach clean and there is a lovely view.

“The quaint British holiday is very much in fashion at the moment.”

Keep Britain Tidy announced the winners of the 2013 Blue Flag and Seaside Awards today.

Weymouth beach kept its Seaside Award, formerly the Quality Coast Award, which recognises those shores with the highest standards of beach management, facilities, cleanliness and which meet guideline water quality.

The council doesn't enter the Blue Flag section of the awards which demands the highest international standard of water quality.

Mark Poulton, who runs the Punch and Judy, said: “It is fantastic news.

“We have an unbelievably dedicated beach team and beach control are fantastic.

“There is a lot of work behind the scenes with such people as the cleaners, gardeners and lifeguards.”

He added: “Last season was the worst ever.

“People were coming to Weymouth, going straight to the beach live site and going away again.

“It wasn't great but I'm hoping that the spin offs will mean we see the benefit this year.”

This year 55 beaches nationwide have gained Blue Flags - including those in Bournemouth and Poole. Some 112 beaches gained Seaside Awards nationally - including 27 in the south west.

The south west boasts the most award-winning beaches in the country in the scheme.

The Keep Britain Tidy charity administers the awards for the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

Coun Ian Bruce, borough council spokesman for tourism, said: “It is brilliant.

“This demonstrates how having a well managed beach and putting in the investment into it pays dividends in terms of awards and visitor numbers.”

He added: “The beach is one of the biggest draws for Weymouth.

“It is what brings people to Weymouth but once they are here they can see just how much is available both in terms of paid attractions and all the free attractions of the area.

“There are lots of things people can do which cost nothing.”

Coun Bruce said that the success helped explode the myth that some people have that the council is not doing anything for the tourism industry.

He added: “I am concentrating with the officers at the moment on what we are delivering from the borough council.

“It is what we are going to bring forward and what we say to the industry and various companies is for them to do.”