The winners of the first Brecon Beacons Tourism Awards were revealed at a glittering ceremony held at the Manor Hotel, Crickhowell on Thursday 10th November.
The evening was the biggest celebration of the very best of Brecon Beacons’ tourism industry.
220 tourism businesses and professionals from across the Brecon Beacons eagerly gathered to hear Mari Stevens, Welsh Governments Director of Tourism and Business Marketing announce the winners. The Awards were organised by Brecon Beacons Tourism, the tourism association in the Brecon Beacons and surrounding area.
Brecon Beacons Tourism’s inaugural Tourism Awards were open to a wide range of tourism related businesses including; hotels, holiday cottages, activity providers, visitor attractions and tourism employees. All of whom make up the National Park’s thriving tourism industry. They celebrated the best of Brecon Beacon’s tourism businesses and the talented individuals behind them. It was also a chance to applaud their hard work and dedication, which drives an economy worth over £238 million and attracts 4.15 million visitors each year.
Laura Thomas, Executive Director of Brecon Beacons Tourism, said: “Last night we celebrated the very best of what the Brecon Beacons has to offer. Everybody involved in this industry should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved this year and in particular I offer huge congratulations to all the winners and runners up for their outstanding achievement. The Brecon Beacons continues to attract millions of visitors every year and it’s the passion, energy and commitment of these businesses that ensures it will continue to do so year on year.”
220 guests gathered to hear the winners announced and enjoyed a pre-dinner talk from Tori James, the Visit Wales Year of Adventure Ambassador and first Welsh Women to reach the summit of Everest.
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates, said: “Wales’ tourism industry is in a very strong position and we’ve seen record breaking visitor figures in the last few years, with indications that 2016 is also going to be a fantastic year. This success is testimony to the hard work and enthusiasm of the industry ad well as commitment and partnership working between public and private sector to deliver a world class visitor experience. Congratulations to all award winners, I wish you every success for 2017 and look forward to working with the area as we deliver the Year of Legends next year.”
32 businesses shortlisted for first Tourism Awards
A panel of independent judges whittled down all entries at the end of the summer into the announced shortlist. They commented that the quality of entries was exceptionally high which made it a really tough job to judge and shortlist.
Andrew Fryer, Chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism said: ‘It was fantastic to see such a high number of entries for the first year’s Brecon Beacons Tourism Awards. What’s more, the quality of those entries we had were outstanding. We are very lucky in the Brecon Beacons to have a tourism sector of such a high calibre”.
Across all the categories the judges were looking for excellence in all areas of business practice. Winning businesses have proved they are providing memorable visitor experiences, an exceptional quality of product and exemplary customer service. As well as using the best fresh local ingredients and making a contribution to the long-term sustainability of their local community.
Each category winner received a framed certificate and a bottle of champagne.
Brecon Beacons Tourism would like to thank their sponsors for making the event possible, they include: Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Brecon Carreg, Castell Howell, GroupAccommodation.com, Greener Graphics, Green Tourism, Pear Communications, The Brecon and Radnor Express and The Neath Port Talbot College Group.
They would also like to thank Apple County Cider for sponsoring the Drinks Reception, as well as thanking the following businesses who have kindly helped us with the costs of the Gala Dinner: Dan yr Ogof Showcaves, Hall Farm Barn and Mitchell Meredith Accountants
The 2016 winners are:
There were 13 awards in total, which any tourism business operating in and around the Brecon Beacons could apply for. The winners and runners up of each award were as follows:
- The Best Large Serviced Accommodation (6 rooms or more) Sponsored by: The Brecon and Radnor Express
Winner: The Plough Inn, Rhosmaen
- The Best Small Serviced Accommodation (5 rooms or less) Sponsored by: Castell Howell
Winner: Dol y Gaer B & B
Runner ups: Rhedyn Guest House
- The Best Self-Catering Accommodation sleeping less than 10 people Sponsored by: Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages
Winner: Pontganol Cottage
- The Best Self-Catering Accommodation sleeping 10 or more people Sponsored by: GroupAccommodation.com
Winner: Holt Farm
- The Best Camping, Caravan or Glamping Experience Sponsored by: Greener Graphics
Winner: Camp Cynrig
- Best Activity Provider Sponsored by: Brecon Carreg
Winner: Hawk Adventures
Runner ups: All in a Spin and Welsh Overland Safari
- The Best Food Experience – Café Sponsored by: Powys County Council
Winner: The Hours Cafe & Bookshop
- The Best Food Experience – Dining Sponsored by: Powys County Council
Winner: Felinfach Griffin
- Best Attraction Sponsored by: Pear Communications
Winner: Dan y Ogof Showcaves
Runner up: Cantref Adventure Farm
- Community Tourism Award Sponsored by: Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
- Sustainable Tourism Award Sponsored by: Green Tourism
Winner: Llangoed Hall
Runner ups: Dan y Ogof Showcaves and Crai Valley Eco Lodges
- Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award Sponsored by: Neath Port Talbot College Group
Winner: Elizabeth Jeffreys, Chair of Brecon Beacons Marketing Coordination Group and Board Member of Theatr Brycheiniog
Daniel Shepherd – Can Do Laundry and Ashford Price – Dan y Ogof Showcaves
- Best Overall Winner
Winner: Dan y Ogof Showcaves
Thank you to all our sponsors
Small Self Catering Accommodation