Bristol venues shine in top tourism awards – with city hotels and visitor attractions among the winners

December 8, 2023

Bristol hotels and leisure and hospitality businesses have swept the board in a raft of categories in the region’s top tourism awards.

Winners at the Bristol Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards ceremony included Wake The Tiger, the world’s first ‘amazement park’, which landed Gold in the new tourism business category, and the University of Bristol’s venues and events services, which won the Business Events Venue Gold Award.

Bristol hotels took home all four awards in the Large Hotel category, with the Clayton, which opened in last year, claiming Gold, the Village Hotel earning Silver and Mollie’s Motel and the Aztec Hotel and Spa winning Bronze and Commended respectively.

Other Gold winners included Your Best You at Aztec Hotel in the Spa & Wellbeing Experience category and Aldwick Estate in the Wedding Venue category, while Bristol Harbour Hotel earned Silvers in the Business Events Venue and Spa & Wellbeing Experience categories.

Silvers also went to SS Great Britain (Large Visitor Attraction), Gambas (Restaurant), and Clifton Suspension Bridge visitor centre (Small Visitor Attraction).

In total 64 awards were handed out at the ceremony, which was held at The Bristol Hotel, with one of three special awards – for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism – going to the Welcome Team at Bristol Temple Meads railway station.

This scheme, which welcomes tourists to the city, was initially introduced in 2012 as part of the national volunteering project linked to the London Olympics but has stayed in place.

Kathryn Davis, managing director of Visit West – the destination marketing organisation behind Visit Bristol – introduced the award, describing the team as the lifeblood of the city who were always ready to direct visitors to bus stops, bakeries and Banksys as well as offering advice on what to see and where to eat and drink.

She added: “We are thrilled that the Bristol Temple Meads Welcome Ambassadors have been recognised for their dedication and their visitor welcome.

“They provide a vital welcome to rail passengers arriving at Temple Meads, helping them with information and their onward journey.”

John Martin and Beth Carpenter, two of the voluntary ambassadors who attended the awards, pictured with Kathryn Davis, said: “We love Bristol and we like interacting with people – they are absolutely thrilled that you’re there to help them. This is the best part of the world.”

The ceremony was hosted by ITV News Somerset correspondent Ben McGrail, who said: “We have so much to offer across the region and the night really showed off just how hard people work to make that possible. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.”

Awards director Nell Barrington said the awards got more and more competitive every year.

“They really do showcase the finest experiences visitors to the county can have and provide a truly inspirational bucket list,” he added.

“It was a privilege to be able to celebrate with such fantastic businesses.  Congratulations to them all.”

Winners in most categories will now be considered for the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, which will take place next March at Exeter University in March 2024 and, possibly, invited to represent Bristol Bath and Somerset in the 2024 national VisitEngland Awards.

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