It was a proud night for Sussex as several tourism businesses from across the county were named winners at the Beautiful South Awards.
The awards ceremony, which was held at The Grand Brighton, welcomed 80 of the best tourism businesses and experiences in the South East to be presented with trophies in recognition of their achievements.
Businesses from Chichester, Hastings, Wisborough Green, Brighton, Horsham, Beckley, West Hoathly, and Eastbourne were among those in the spotlight.
Chichester’s The Goodwood Estate was awarded gold in the business events venue of the year category, while The Goodwood Hotel was the gold winner of the large hotel of the year category.
Stubcroft Farm Campsite in Chichester took gold in the camping and holiday park of the year category.
The silver award in the customer service superstar category went to Jenny Bettger, Harry Boulter, Lorna Holmes and Joanna Wiege of Chichester Festival Theatre.
Swan House B&B in Hastings was awarded gold in the bed and breakfast of the year category, and The Cafe at Fishers Adventure Farm Park in Wisborough Green was commended in the café/tearoom of the year category.
Silver in the ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism category went to British Airways i360 in Brighton.
Two experience of the year awards went to Brighton businesses – Brighton & Beyond Tours taking home gold and Phileas Foggs World of Adventures bronze. Brighton & Beyond also took silver in the international tourism category, as well as the new tourism business award - in which Horsham’s Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens took gold.
Beckley’s Swallowtail Hill was awarded silver in the glamping business and alternative accommodation of the year category, while West Hoathly’s The Cat Inn was commended in the pub of the year category.
The gold award for restaurant/bistro of the year went to East Grinstead’s The Dining Room at Gravetye Manor.
Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow took silver in the tourism event/festival of the year category, while Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre was presented with the gold visitor information service of the year award.
The awards, which were this year hosted by travel journalist and broadcaster Simon Calder, are run by Tourism South East in partnership with Services for Tourism Ltd.
Mark Smith, chairman of Tourism South East, said: “What a night! I was blown away by the sheer quality of the tourism businesses and experiences celebrating the trophies.
“Through some incredibly hard work, talent and determination, they have all achieved well deserved success and will be a great example to others.
“I am certain that they will inspire other businesses across the UK.
“I also want to recognise and thank the Awards sponsors and voluntary judges who make the Awards possible.
“Our headline sponsor, The Grand Brighton, pulled out all the stops to make the Awards a very special end of year celebration.
“I am now looking forward to our winners taking on the rest of the country at the VisitEngland National Awards.”