MORE than 100 entries have been submitted to the annual Dorset Tourism Awards in a record year for the competition.

The total number of entries to the Tourism Awards were broken again with 737 entries received from across the south west and 146 from Dorset.

Although the deadline for entering was midnight on April 30, entry numbers are expected to grow even more, with entry into the Customer Service Superstar and Outstanding Contribution Award categories remaining open to judge nominations during the summer.

Robin Barker, organiser of the awards, said: “We made many changes this year following extensive consultation with entrants and judges - and we’re delighted with the response.

“The awards continue to evolve in parallel with industry trends, with feedback from last year’s entrants telling us that 78 per cent of Dorset entrants now take part for the independent feedback they receive."

Last year Dippy on Tour – the visit of the replica dinosaur to the Dorset County Museum – won the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award and the Tourism Event of the Year in the 2018 Dorset Tourism Awards.

Portland Port took home the top award for International and Inbound Visitor Experience, with Tourism Innovation gold going to Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum.

Jurassic Coast Guides won the Guided Tour gold, Lulworth Outdoors the gold for Learning Experience, while a food and drink gold was collected by The Acorn Inn in Evershot.

The prestigious Winner of Winners trophy went to Dorset House bed and breakfast in Lyme Regis, which also picked up a gold award for the third successive year.

The Dorset Tourism Awards celebrate excellence in tourism across the south west. They aim to promote and reward businesses and individuals in the tourism industry, whatever their sector and size. They are free to enter, independently judged and all entrants receive feedback.

The awards also represent the south west ‘heat’ of the national awards, with many south west winners going on to be nominated to represent the region in the national VisitEngland Awards in June 2020.

Judging will be taking place from now until the autumn, prior to this year’s Dorset Tourism Awards event at The Tank Museum on October 17.

Full details of the tourism awards can be found at