The finalists have been announced for this year’s Dorset Tourism Awards.

The awards, which celebrate Dorset's best tourist attractions, will be presented in the Weymouth Pavilion on Thursday, February 1, 2024.

The 62 finalists have been announced for this year’s Dorset Tourism Awards following five months of judging.

The awards will be separated into Gold, Silver or Bronze awards. A further three special awards will also be announced and eight will be rewarded with Commended status.

A spokesperson for the Visit Dorset tourism team said: “The team would like to wish the very best of luck to all the finalists in this year’s Dorset Tourism Awards. It’s great to recognise their amazing work and the fantastic experiences that they provide for all visitors to Dorset.”

The annual competition is now in its 11th year, with changes every year to categories and criteria.

This year’s awards took ever greater account of entrants’ commitment to accessibility and inclusion, including mental health, as well as the environment and community.

Awards organiser Robin Barker of Services for Tourism commented: “I well remember the audience reaction at the very first Dorset Awards – delight that Dorset at last had an awards scheme of their own – and after the tough few years the industry has been through I fully expect more delight in February. Many congratulations to everyone.”

The awards organisers were also pleased to retain their own ‘Outstanding’ accreditation in the Awards TrustMark scheme.

Successful businesses in most categories fast-tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in March 2024 and possibly be invited to represent Dorset in the 2024 national VisitEngland Awards.

Award categories cover everything from dog-friendly, new tourism business, and accessible and inclusive tourism to restaurants, glamping, hotels and pubs. A Winner of Winners title, an Unsung Hero award and a special Future of Hospitality award will also be presented on the night.

The local finalists that have been revealed include: 

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award sponsored by Bournemouth University Business School:

  • Dorset Museum, Dorchester
  • National Trust – Corfe, Purbeck Estate, Swanage
  • The Tank Museum, Bovington

B&B and Guesthouse of the Year sponsored by Goadsby:

  • Barton Cottage Bed and Breakfast, Dorchester

Business Events Venue of the Year sponsored by NFU Mutual Bournemouth:

  • Dorset Museum, Dorchester
  • The Tank Museum, Bovington

Café/Tearoom of the Year sponsored by Dorset Tea:

  • Compton Acres Café Tearooms, Bovington
  • The Story Pig, Sherborne
  • Upwey Wishing Well Tearooms, Weymouth

Camping & Caravanning Park of the Year sponsored by Anytime Booking:

  • Norden Farm Campsite, Wareham
  • Wareham Forest Tourist Park, Wareham

Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award sponsored by Saffery:

  • Warmwell Holiday Park, Weymouth

Experience of the Year:

  • Durdle Door Cruise – Weymouth Bay RIB Charter, Weymouth

Holiday Park of the Year sponsored by Tozers:

  • Durdle Door Holiday Park, Wareham

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year:

  • Dorset Museum, Dorchester
  • The Tank Museum, Bovington

New Tourism Business Award sponsored by Visit Dorset:

  • English Cottage Vacation, Shaftesbury
  • The Queen’s Arms, Sherborne

Pub of the Year:

  • The Acorn Inn, Dorchester
  • The Queen’s Arms, Sherborne

Restaurant of the Year:

  • Restaurant Les Enfants Terribles, Weymouth

Small Hotel of the Year sponsored by Quality in Tourism:

  • Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Dorchester

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year sponsored by Resort Dorset:

  • Nothe Fort, Weymouth
  • Shire Hall Museum, Dorchester

Tourism Event/Festival of the Year, sponsored by Les Enfants Terribles:

  • Tankfest 2023, Bovington

Wedding Venue of the Year sponsored by Touch Stay:

  • Dorset Museum Weddings, Dorchester
  • The Italian Villa at Compton Acres, Bovington