We’re thrilled to announce Sherborne Abbey Festival is a finalist in the 2017 Dorset Tourism Awards.

We are one of the top four entries in the category of Tourism Event/Festival of the Year – guaranteed to collect a Gold, Silver or Bronze award at the Dorset Tourism Awards finals on 16th November at The Lighthouse (Centre For the Arts) Poole. The finalists in this category all demonstrated innovation, distinctiveness and clear evidence they make a significant contribution to the economy of a Dorset destination.

Festival Chairman John Baker says: “This award is an accolade to our Festival volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year, enabling us to stage a world-class annual event where more than seventy percent of performances are free entry. Our success means we can support other local music and arts initiatives, and encourage young talent through charitable grants, as well as raising the profile of Sherborne and Dorset all year round as a destination for tourism, the arts, and music in particular”.

Find out more about all the finalists and highly commended entrants.

We’re proud to be at the top with other great events – in a category sponsored by Bournemouth University Department of Tourism & Hospitality www.bournemouth.ac.uk/tourism

The TOP FOUR Tourism Events & Festivals are:

This year’s awards sees an increase of 15% with 123 entries across 23 categories and a new category for Guided Tours, along with the former Experience category split into three.  Entrants went through a 3-stage judging process, taking into account websites, reviews, social media and over 90 visits by judges to businesses. All evidence was then presented to an independent judging panel which met on 3rd October. Finalists are from across the county including Lyme Regis, Sherborne, Christchurch, Poole, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Blandford Forum and Cranborne.

Robin Barker of Services for Tourism, who created and manages the awards, commented: “It is so rewarding to see the increase in entries and also the further raising of standards across the county.  Judging this year has been tougher than ever, with evidence of excellence from businesses that are investing significantly in their facilities and people.”

Successful businesses in the Dorset Tourism Awards will automatically be considered for matching categories in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2018 with the chance to go on to represent Dorset at the National VisitEngland Awards later in that year.

See Sherborne Abbey Festival’s image and media story from 2017 and see why the judge’s were so impressed with the quality of what we do. Next year’s Festival takes place from 4-8th May 2018.

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