TOURISM businesses across Dorset have been celebrated at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

The awards last night were held in association with Source for Business at Plymouth’s Holiday Inn and saw a record amount of entries.

Nearly 350 entries were considered and 66 different awards were announced including a unique performance from a group of military drummers.

Highlands End Holiday Park in Bridport was awarded Gold for holiday park of the year and the Dorset Seafood Festival held in Weymouth scooped a silver award for tourism event of the year.

Bronze awards were given to Launceston Farm Bed and Breakfast in Blandford Forum for guest accommodation of the year and Greenwood Grange in Dorchester for self catering establishment of the year.

In West Dorset, South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping Park in Lytchett Minster was highly commended for holiday park of the year and Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre scooped bronze for tourist information service of the year.

In addition BridgeHouse Hotel in Beaminster was highly commended for small hotel of the year.

John Crouch, Marketing Manager for Title Sponsors, Source for Business, said: “The Tourism Awards once again demonstrate how impressively the tourism sector is delivering a great visitor experience in the south west.”

All entrants for the awards underwent a rigorous short-listing process, with 213 entrants then visited by a team of 35 mystery shoppers.

Entry to the awards was free and all entrants received feedback on how they had done giving them useful tips for future success.

Up to four award winners from each category in this year’s awards will also now go on to represent the region at the National Enjoy England Awards for Excellence in May.