County scoops top accolades in National Tourism Awards

First published in News

Pembrokeshire has proved it possesses the cream of the Welsh tourist industry by bringing home five top accolades from the National Tourism Awards for Wales.

The Grove Hotel, Narberth was named the winner of large Best Place to Stay, with Folly Farm picking up two awards - for Best Family Day Out and digital marketing.

Clydey Cottages, near Boncath won large Best Self Catering Place to Stay, while the West Wales Tourism Associations - which includes Pembrokeshire Tourism - were the first winners of the new Best Partnership award.

The winners were announced by TV presenter, Sarra Elgan, at the Vale Resort in Glamorgan.

Folly Farm's managing director, Chris Ebsworth, praised the attraction's staff for their contribution towards its success.

"We've always ploughed the profits we have made back into the business. If you stay still, people lose interest. But having a good team around you is even more important," he said.

PR and marketing manager Zoe Wright collected the digital marketing award and thanked their web development company, Writemedia of Roch for their work on their website and digital marketing strategy.

Neil Kedward of The Grove, which has picked up a string of accolades since it opened last year, said that his ‘happy, highly-trained and friendly team’ consistently attracted favourable comments from guests. "People come back to stay with us three of four times a year," he said. "That’s important to us; we want to be the best-loved hotel in Wales."

And being on hand for guests also enhances the visitor experience, said Jacqui Davies of Clydey Cottages. "I think it’s important to be seen, to ask and to be open, so that guests can tell you about a problem and that you can put it right,"she said.

For the first time, the awards recognised the work of tourism associations in the Partnership award, and Pembrokeshire Tourism’s chief executive, Alison Belton said that it was ‘recognition for all the hard work of the past few months in delivering for the south west Wales tourism industry."

Some 400 nominations were received for 2010 National Tourism Awards for Wales awards in 16 categories, and they were narrowed down to 53 finalists.

Along with the five Pembrokeshire winners, these were: St Brides Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot; Swallow Tree Gardens Holiday and Leisure, Saundersfoot; Celtic Quest Coasteering; Oriel y Parc visitor centre, St Davids; Asheston Eco Barns, Penycwm; The Really Wild Food and Countryside Festival and Fforestcamp, Cilgerran.

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