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Trust enjoys a winning streak

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 13, 2014

PRESENTATION: Jane Jones, of First Great Western (awards sponsor), Liz Potter, Tony Potter, and journalist Sally Shalam.

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CALVERT Trust Exmoor has been named winner of winners at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in addition to winning golds in the tourism activity, sport and experience of the year and access for all categories.

It will now represent the region in the National Visit England Awards for Excellence 2014 in May.

Calvert Trust chief executive Tony Potter said: "This is fantastic news that rewards all the hard work that the Calvert Trust Exmoor team consistently put in.

"We are so pleased to be recognised for delivering an excellent experience for anyone and everyone, of any ability or age. Going on to win the winner of winners award was the icing on the cake."

Commenting on the winner of winners award, the judges said: "There are no criteria for this award. At the end of the judging panel meeting its members are asked to identify any entrant which, in their view, has shone in its field. On this occasion the debate was short.

"This year's winner of winners was visited independently by two mystery visitors. Both of them came away declared themselves 'inspired' by a business that is doing things that others regard as impossible, or simply had not thought of.

"It is an exemplar to all tourism businesses on how to widen their audience, be accessible, and deliver excellence."

The Old Rectory Hotel, Martinhoe, won gold in the best small hotel category.

Co-owner Huw Rees said: "We try to do the simple things really well: thoughtful service, luxury rooms, delicious local food and an award winning wine-list."

Matt Druce from Westward Living At Duckhaven Stud, Westward Ho! won joint gold in the tourism superstar award for customer service category, while Seahorse Apartments and Westward Living At Duckhaven Stud won silver for self-catering establishment.

The Big Sheep won silver and RHS Garden Rosemoor was highly commended in the large visitor attraction category. Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre was highly commended in the tourist information service award and Northcote Manor Country House Hotel, Umberleigh was highly commended in the taste of South West award.

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