Dorset businesses are celebrating awards success after being recognised in a scheme to celebrate tourism excellence.

The South West Tourism Excellence Awards, held at Aerospace Bristol, was the biggest annual regional gathering of tourism businesses, with 107 awards presented following a judging process in which a record 651 entries were considered.

Top award winners from Dorset included Farmer Palmers Farm Park, specifically its customer ambassador Dougie Macandrew, 18, who picked up the gold customer service superstar award.

Directors Sandra Palmer-Snellin and Phillip Palmer said: “Congratulations Dougie, you are a shining example of a Dorset teenager and a role model for our new employees. It’s such an achievement for a dedicated happy smiling teenager, we’re just so proud.”

Dorchester’s Shire Hall achieved silver in the tourism innovation award as well as being highly commended for access and inclusivity.

Harriet Still, events and exhibitions manager said: “We couldn’t be happier to win this award.

“From day one we have aimed to challenge people’s perceptions about what a museum is and how they can experience it.

"This award is a tribute to all the hard work which has gone into making Shire Hall a unique tourist attraction.”

Dorset House in Lyme Regis got a silver as B&B and guesthouse of the year while the town’s Alexandra House got silver in the small hotel category.

Dorset’s tourist information networks were praised, with Bridport Tourist Information Centre and Swanage Information Centre achieving silver and bronze respectively in the visitor information centre of the year award.

South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping Park earned two awards, being presented with a silver award in touring, camping and caravanning park of the year and bronze in dog friendly business of the year.

Bronze award winners included Portland Port (international visitor experience) and Dippy on Tour (tourism event of the year). Monkton Wyld Caravan Park was highly commended in the touring, camping and caravanning park of the year category and Evershot’s Acorn Inn was highly commended (tourism pub of year).

Dorset netted two learning experience awards, with Lulworth Outdoors and Create at the Cove securing silver and bronze, with Create at the Cove also earning a tourism new business award.