1066 Country tourist businesses in spotlight at awards ceremony

Far left, Peter Colling, managing director of Tourism South East and centre, Christine Warrington and Brendan McDonagh, Swan House B&B, together with award presenters
Far left, Peter Colling, managing director of Tourism South East and centre, Christine Warrington and Brendan McDonagh, Swan House B&B, together with award presenters
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Businesses in 1066 Country gained top accolades at this year’s Beautiful South Awards.

The annual event, held at Brighton’s Grand Hotel last Thursday (December 4), welcomed more than 275 industry professionals from visitor experiences across the south and south east of England and recognised their contribution to the tourism industry.

It was a particularly good evening for 1066 Country businesses, as five-star Crowhurst Holiday Park and five-star boutique B&B Swan House, in Hill Street, Hastings, scooped Gold as top holiday park and top B&B of the year in their respective categories.

Winning their third award in the annual event, Rye Tourist Information Centre achieved Silver in the Visitor Information Provider of the Year category and was described by the judges as ‘a shining example of what a Tourist Information Centre should be’.

Crowhurst Park’s Julie Hannah said she was delighted to win Bronze in the Outstanding Customer Service category.

Brendan McDonagh, co-proprietor of Swan House, said: “We are absolutely ecstatic to have won the Gold Award in the Bed and Breakfast category. Our success has been a real team effort. We won Gold in 2009 and to be recognised again in this way, five years on, has us bursting with pride. The awards ceremony was a fantastic evening, not only for Swan House, but for Hastings and 1066 Country.” Councillor Peter Chowney, Hastings Borough Council’s deputy leader and lead member for regeneration, said: “This is an excellent achievement and congratulations must go to Swan House. It proves Hastings is firmly on the map offering first rate accommodation to visitors to the town.”

Tracey Young, manager of the Rye Tourist Information Centre said: “We are delighted to have received a Silver award at the 2014 Beautiful South Awards. It is a fantastic achievement to be recognised at this level for the quality of service that we deliver, and we are thrilled at receiving such wonderful feedback from the judges.”

The winners are now invited to champion the south east at Visit England’s Tourism Excellence Awards in 2015.

Peter Colling, managing director of Tourism South East, said: “Every year the Beautiful South Awards are a reminder of the amazing wealth of fantastic tourism businesses and experiences south east England has to offer. This year the overall standard of entries was higher than ever making it extremely tough for the judges. The winners truly are the best of the best and a match for any in the country. We are now looking forward to our winners taking the spoils at Visit England’s National Tourism Excellence Awards.”