Plymouth Pirates Weekend has won Bronze for Tourism Event of the Year in Thursday’s South West Tourism excellence awards.
The annual family event held in the historic Barbican and Sutton Harbour in May, recently won during Visit Devon’s Awards last year and now receives regional recognition at the Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset awards.
Plymouth Pirates Weekend was celebrated amidst the region’s giant events including the Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta, Bournemouth Air Festival and Exeter’s Festival of South West Food & Drink.
In its fourth year, created and funded by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District and supported by the City Council’s Events Team, plans are already in place for the next Pirate weekend in 16 & 17 May this year.
Sarah O’Leary, Waterfront Manager said “We’re extremely proud to represent Plymouth in the regional awards for Tourism excellence with the Pirates Weekend. It’s gradually built up over four years to become a regionally recognised award-winning event, attracting in excess of 15,000 visitors across two days. Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, has an excellent cultural offer with an extensive calendar of family oriented events set within a stunning Waterfront location.”
‘A record finale to a record year’ was one description of Thursday’s Awards night, as 10 months of work culminated in the presentation of 98 trophies to the South West’s leading tourism businesses at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2014-15 in the Great Hall of the Grand Pier at Weston Super Mare, following a rigorous judging process in which a record 425 entries were considered.
Hosted by ITV news presenter Kylie Pentelow, with an inspiring opening address by travel writer and adventurer Monty Halls, famous for his BBC Great Escape series, the event broke new ground being hosted at Weston’s Grand Pier, itself a bronze winner on the night, with many guests visiting for the first time.
The awards broke the previous record for entries with 425 submissions being considered, each going through a rigorous 3-stage judging process of marking, visits and panel meetings.
Chair of Judges, Alistair Handyside, said: “The list of finalists really does look like a who’s who of the best in the industry in the South West. Once again the entrants have surpassed themselves in showing that investment, innovation and creativity remain at the heart of the visitor economy in the region.”