Published: October 20, 2019 | Updated: October 20, 2019

Big guns roll out at The Tank Museum in celebration of “fantastic tourism industry”

The 2019 Dorset Tourism Awards were held in the impressive surroundings of The Tank Museum at Bovington.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Dorset’s finest tourism businesses – from hotels and caravan parks to bus operators, restaurants and visitor attractions – have been honoured at the 2019 Dorset Tourism Awards.

More than 260 people celebrated the best of the best at an awards dinner at The Tank Museum at Bovington, itself the recipient of two gold awards.

A record 151 entries were received for the 26 categories, plus two special awards, with 77 selected as finalists.

Nick Fernyhough, Partner, Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants (right) and Dr Simon Cripps, Chief Executive, Dorset Wildlife Trust (left) with award-winners Libby Battaglia and John Baker.

Robin Barker, Awards Organiser, said the awards had attracted “the cream of Dorset tourism” while Nick Fernyhough, Partner with Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants – headline sponsor for the seventh year running – paid tribute to the “fantastic tourism industry we have in Dorset.”

Winners on the night included gold awards for Yellow Buses (Tourism innovation), Christchurch Harbour Hotel and The Jetty restaurant (Large hotel of the Year and Restaurant/Bistro of the Year) and Bournemouth’s Marsham Court Hotel (Business Events & Wedding Venue of the Year).

David Squire, Managing Director, Yellow Buses, and Fiona Harwood, Marketing Sales Manager, receive the award for Tourism Innovation.

David Squire, Managing Director of Yellow Buses, said: “We’re absolutely delighted. It’s a great tribute to the team.”

The award for Outstanding Contribution to Dorset Tourism went to Libby Battaglia of the Light Up Poole Festival and John Baker, organiser of the Sherborne Abbey Festival.

Bagwell Farm Touring Park in Weymouth was named Winner of Winners after receiving the award for Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism for a third year.

Guest speaker at the awards was Dr Simon Cripps, Chief Executive of Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Steve Harris, BBC Dorset’s breakfast presenter, acted as MC.

See the full results at