-Firms that help put Dorset on the tourist map encouraged to enter Dorset Business Awards –

With the Olympics, Paralympics and Diamond Jubilee improving the UK’s reputation overseas and creating new interest in the country as a place to visit in 2013 *, Dorset’s tourism industry is set to up its game to attract overseas visitors to the region following the extensive international exposure generated by the success of 2012 events.

To recognise the important role this industry plays in the region’s economy, firms are being encouraged to enter for the Dorset Tourism Award, part of the Dorset Business Awards in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, and join The Harbour Hotels group and Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre on the winners’ list.

Sponsored by the Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Liz Lean PR, the Dorset Tourism Award is open to any business with a BH or DT postcode, which is accessible on a seasonal or year-round basis, and can demonstrate that excellence in service, customer care, hospitality and marketing are regarded as core business objectives.

The current holder of this award category, the Harbour Hotels group in Christchurch which consists of three properties, The Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa, the award-winning restaurant The Jetty, and The Kings Arms, attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year and its targeted marketing and PR activity ensures that the county is featured in some of the UK’s leading travel press.  Talking about entering and winning, Victoria Rose of the hotel group says: “We were delighted to have been awarded the Dorset Tourism Award at last year’s ceremony. Our Award is displayed very proudly in our Christchurch Harbour Hotel, as we continue to promote this wonderful region and all that it has to offer. The Award has provided a further platform to communicate our dedication in driving awareness for the community and county.”

Dorset Tourism Award checklist

Entrants should include:

  • Key objectives, including any details of strategic planning for 2013 through to 2015
  • How customer feedback is obtained and responded to, and how performance has improved and customer satisfaction      has increased as a result
  • How the business is promoted and marketed to attract visitors
  • Evidence of initiatives that have been introduced to enhance visitor experience
  • Commitment to staff training and development

Liz Willingham, managing director of Liz Lean PR, says: “Introduced to the Awards competition in 2011, the Dorset Tourism Award is a fantastic opportunity for tourism businesses to showcase the best of what the county has to offer.   Dorset is a fabulous tourist destination and this category aims to acknowledge those firms which make it such a great destination.”

Peter Scott, chief executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, adds: “Tourism makes a substantial contribution to the county’s economy and we believe it is important to recognise this within the Dorset Business Awards competition.  We’re looking forward to receiving an outstanding array of entries in 2013.”

The Awards are also backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105, and are free to enter.  Entrants can submit an entry via www.dorsetbusinessawards.co.uk or print off an entry form and submit a paper-based entry. The closing date for entry is Tuesday September 10. Entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For further information about the Awards, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve tickets for the Gala Dinner which will take place at the Lighthouse, Poole, on Thursday November 28, please contact Shirley Ewart on 01202 714812.

Sponsor profiles

Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry is Dorset’s leading private sector business support organisation.

Building on more than six decades of serving the county’s business community, both at home and abroad, Dorset Chamber works to further the interests of its 850-plus member businesses of all sizes and sectors, delivering the very best services, business information and advice.

Liz Lean PR

Sandbanks-based Liz Lean PR is a proactive public relations consultancy.  Founded in 1998, the consultancy work with a strong portfolio of clients across a range of sectors including professional services, tourism, retail, leisure, healthcare and hospitality.

The team forges close links with clients, becoming an extension of the team, to deliver effective campaigns on both a national and regional level, using both online and offline media.