• 22 tourism businesses have made it through to the final shortlist for the seven categories in the brand new awards scheme, which rewards exceptional standards of customer service and outstanding visitor experiences within Kent’s tourism industry.

    Now the public are invited to view and vote for the winners in each category – and there’s the chance to win a special prize bundle by doing so.

    Destination specialists Go To Places (who deliver Visit Kent) launched the first ever Kent Tourism Awards in August, and invited big and small businesses to nominate themselves for an accolade.

    The 2017 categories include best small and large accommodation providers, best family friendly businesses, best small and large visitor attractions, tourism pub of the year, and the ultimate tourism experience of the year.

    97 entries were received, and a judging panel of tourism experts from outside Kent have now whittled these down to a shortlist of three finalists per category.

    From Thursday 21 September, members of the public can head to the Visit Kent website or Facebook page to vote for the winners.

    As a special incentive – and to help more people experience the best of Kent’s incredible tourism destinations for themselves – anyone who votes will automatically be entered in to a prize draw to win six sensational days out at a range of Kent attractions in 2018, worth approx. £300 (terms and conditions apply).

    Voting closes on Friday 20 October and the businesses with the most votes will be crowned at a gala ceremony on 24 November.

    So whether you’ve enjoyed a fantastic family day out or been treated like royalty as part of a splendid staycation, make sure you vote for tourism businesses that are worth shouting about in the Kent Tourism Awards.

    How to vote

    Voting in the Kent Tourism Awards and entering the prize draw is easy.

    • Visit Visit Kent’s voting page
    • Vote for your first choice businesses in each of the seven award categories
    • Once you have selected your pick of winners, please share a few words about your vote and Kent’s best tourist attractions.
    • You’ll need to enter your email address and your full name to enter the competition. A winner will be selected at random on Monday 23 October.

    The Kent Tourism Awards Scheme was created to further motivate the county’s tourism businesses to create even more compelling experiences and adopt best practice. The scheme rewards exceptional standards of customer service and outstanding overall visitor experiences.

    Finalists will receive an official award, accreditation and feature in a Visit Kent social media and PR campaign. Winners will also get the chance to go forward to the national Awards for Excellence operated by Visit England (subject to Visit England eligibility criteria).

    Kent Tourism Awards finalists 2017

    Rest Your Head Award, sponsored by M Assessment Services (Small Accommodation Provider of the Year)

    • Elmley Nature Reserve
    • House of Agnes
    • Coastal Mill Cottage – Mulberry Cottages

    Happy Family Award, sponsored by Quinn Estates (Family Friendly Business of the Year)

    • Penshurst Place and Gardens
    • Diggerland
    • Nethergong Camping

    Big Sleep Award, sponsored by Sleeping Giant Media (Large Accommodation Provider of the Year)

    • Eastwell Manor
    • Hotel du Vin
    • The Yarrow Hotel

    Big Day Out Award, sponsored by Brachers (Large Visitor Attraction of the Year)

    • The Historic Dockyard, Chatham
    • Turner Contemporary
    • Dreamland
    • Leeds Castle

    Hidden Gem Award, sponsored by Southeastern (Small Visitor Attraction of the Year)

    • Battle of Britain Memorial
    • Copper Rivet Distillery
    • Go Ape Bedgebury

    Raising the Bar Award, sponsored by Shepherd Neame (Tourism Pub of the Year)

    • Buoy and Oyster
    • The Dog at Wingham
    • The White Horse

    Lasting Impression Award, sponsored by Pillory Barn (Ultimate Tourism Experience of the Year)

    • Champing – Churches Conservation Trust, St Mary’s Fordwich
    • Canterbury Medieval Pageant – Canterbury BID
    • bOing! – Gulbenkian, University of Kent

    Can we help?

    Take a look at our Brachers page for useful information, resources, guidance, details of our team and how we may be able to help you

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