Member News & Events

Finalists announced in the inaugural Destination Awards

The finalists have been announced for the inaugural Destination Awards – brand new accolades celebrating businesses that make the area a great place to visit, live and work.

A total of 42 Destination Award finalists across 15 award categories were revealed at the Lost Paradise Bar in Bournemouth on Monday evening (February 3).

The contenders will learn whether they have won a Gold, Silver or Bronze Destination Award at the glittering Night of a Thousand Memories Final, compered by the comedian Celia Delaney, at the BIC on Thursday March 19.

The Destination Awards have been launched by BCP Council to celebrate the wide spectrum of attractions, events and businesses working to make the area both a successful tourism destination and a great place to live and work.

Craig Mathie, vice chair of the Destination Management Board, told the finalists and their guests: “We have had a wonderful number of applicants on this, our first year and we would like to thank our wonderful judges who have worked really hard to examine the applications and to visit our shortlisted businesses.”

He continued: “Only applicants which achieved the highest of scores in their category have been named finalists. But every business, regardless of whether they are finalists, will receive feedback following the awards in March, to help them sustain and improve their business.”

David Squire, Managing Director of Yellow Buses – the headline sponsor for the awards – announced the finalists in several categories.

He said: “Yellow Buses is delighted to sponsor the awards, as they fit so perfectly with our own ethos of being completely and absolutely part of our community.”

Tickets to the Destination Awards Night of a Thousand Memories are priced at £75 per person or £700 for a table of 10. To find out who all of the finalists are and to book tickets visit: []

Also sponsoring the Destination Awards are Expectations Travel, the Marsham Court Hotel, Cameo & Myu Bar, The Lost Paradise and event organiser dbox events.


Photographs are being sought for the Destination Awards Photograph Competition, with the winner being exhibited in a local art gallery.

The photographs can feature people of any age enjoying Bournemouth, Poole or Christchurch, whether they are visiting for the day or a holiday, or living or working here.

The winner will have their photograph exhibited at Gallery 65 in Westbourne and will also win two tickets to the Destination Awards Final in March.

Two runners-up will also win afternoon tea at the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth.

The competition will be judged by Paul Collins, Head of Visual at Deep South Media and former Picture Editor and photographer for the Southern Daily Echo.

The closing date for entries is 4pm on Friday February 28, 2020.

Entries can be posted on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #bcpphotocomp or they can be emailed to:

Postal entries should be sent to dbox events ltd, 16 King Edward Avenue, Bournemouth, BH9 1TY.

Entrants must be able to provide the original, high resolution version of their pictures in jpeg format if they are chosen as a winner.

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Destination Awards seek digital businesses ‘making waves’

Digital businesses are amongst those being urged to ‘seas’ the day and enter BCP’s new Destination Awards before the closing date of October 6.

The Destination Awards – launched in July – recognise businesses striving to make Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch a great place to visit and live and work.

Fifteen select, yet diverse categories include the Digital Transformation Award, the Responsible, Ethical & Sustainable Tourism Award and the International or Inbound Tourism Award.

Further categories recognise businesses excelling in the areas of Tourism, Hospitality, Events, Retail and Transport.

Chris Palmer is a Destination Awards judge and as owner of AnyTech Solutions in Poole, is passionate about celebrating the area’s flourishing digital community.

He said: “I’m proud to be part of the fastest growing digital community outside of London and I feel extremely privileged to be part of awards which will recognise the huge contribution they are making to the area.”

The Destination Awards have been created by the Destination Management Board – which replaced the former Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Board on April 1 this year.

Chair of the Board David Bailey said: “As the name suggests the Destination Awards will commend the huge range of businesses which are working hard to make the new BCP conurbation a fabulous destination for everyone, whether they are visiting or holidaying here, work here, or are proud to call it home.

“We want to hear from digital businesses, regardless of their size. We also want to reach out to those businesses which attract a wealth of foreign visitors to the area each year, and those which are striving tirelessly to make their businesses more sustainable.”

He continued: “Entering the awards is very straightforward, and all finalists, not just the winners, will benefit from detailed feedback to help them take their business to the next level.”

Following a comprehensive judging process including ‘mystery shoppers’, the Destination Award winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Bournemouth International Centre in March 2020, from five finalists in each category.

The awards are being organised and delivered by dbox events.
Headline sponsor Yellow Buses has pledged its support to the awards for three years. The other sponsors for 2020 include Expectations Travel, The International Education Forum, Cameo Nightclub and the Marsham Court Hotel.

The 15 award categories are:

· Events & Cultural Award

· Attraction of the Year

· Large Hotel of the Year

· Small or Boutique Hotel of the Year

· Unserviced Accommodation of the Year

· Café or Tearoom of the Year

· Restaurant or Bistro of the Year

· Retail Innovation Award

· Getting About Award

· Business Tourism Award

· Responsible, Ethical & Sustainable Tourism Award

· International or Inbound Tourism Award

· Digital Transformation Award

· Industry Support Award

· Night-time Experience Award

Entries are open until October 6.

For information on how to enter visit:

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Yellow Buses at the wheel as headline sponsor of the Destination Awards

Yellow Buses are helping to drive official new awards which celebrate excellence in companies that make Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch a great place to visit, live and work.

The Bournemouth-based bus company is playing a leading role as headline sponsors for the Destination Awards, a new showcase for the great work being done in our part of the South Coast to make it a wonderful place for tourists and residents alike.

David Squire, Managing Director of Yellow Buses, now wholly locally owned after a recent management buyout, said: “Yellow Buses and the Destination Awards are the perfect fit and we are very pleased to be involved.

“The Destination Awards are promoting local businesses and we have become a truly local business, employing 400 people and contributing to the local economy.”

“At the time we were approached about sponsorship we knew about our management buyout although it was still under wraps – so we thought it would be an ideal partnership.

“We’re part of the fabric of the town so it’s an obvious match for us. A lot of the businesses at the launch event at the Marsham Court Hotel were companies we already interact with – and we carry a lot of visitors to and from their hotels to all the tourism destinations.”

Yellow Buses have signed up to be the Destination Awards’ headline sponsor for the next three years. Plans include a Destination Awards themed bus to travel around the town alongside others with poetry, history and wildlife themes.

James Dixon-Box, owner of dbox events, won a competitive tender to organise and deliver the awards earlier this year. The awards have been set up by the new Destination Management Board, which looks after tourism for the new Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch (BCP) Council.

James said: “We are excited to be working with Yellow Buses, along with sponsors Expectations Travel and the Marsham Court Hotel, to shine a spotlight on the fantastic work being done to make this a premier tourism destination.”

Applications are now open for the awards. There are 14 award categories, including Attraction of the Year, Large Hotel of the Year and a Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism award.

Following a comprehensive judging process, including ‘mystery shoppers’, the awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony at the BIC in March 2020.

For information on how to enter visit

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Expert Eye

Kurt Janson, Director of the Tourism Alliance has been appointed as official Adjudicator of the new Destination Awards.

Janson, who has worked in tourism policy and development for over 25 years, was offered the role by the Destination Management Board which oversees tourism for the newly-formed Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch (BCP) Council.

The Destination Management Board replaced the former Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Board on April 1 this year.

David Bailey, Chair of the Board said: “We are extremely pleased that Kurt Janson has agreed to bring his expertise to the Destination Awards as Adjudicator.

“These awards are unique in that they recognise businesses that are striving to make Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch a great place to visit and live and work.

“Kurt has spent much of his career working to improve quality and competitiveness within the sector and his role will be to oversee the judges’ scoring process, ensuring that all results are double checked by someone independent of the process and providing that extra level of assurance that the winners truly are the best in their fields.”

Janson said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to undertake the role of Adjudicator for the Destination Awards.

“Awards are an excellent way to develop and grow a business, providing expert appraisals and guidance, enabling you to benchmark yourself against other businesses and also to gain new ideas which you can incorporate into the products and services you provide to your customers.

“And if you are an operator that is going to spend time and resources entering an awards competition, you want to know that the judging process is run as professionally as you run your business.”

With just 14 award categories ranging from Large Hotel of the Year to International or Inbound Tourism Award, the Destination Awards will seek to recognise and celebrate the ‘best of the best’.

All finalists, not just winners will also benefit from detailed feedback to help them take their business to the next level.

Janson added “I never cease to be amazed by the innovation of the tourism industry and these awards will be an exciting new showcase for the great work being done in this part of the south coast to attract more tourism and increase facilities for residents.

“I’m very much looking forward to reading the judges’ reports on the finalists.

“The difficult bit will be singling out the winners.”

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The Destination Awards

The Destination Awards have been created by the Destination Management Board to celebrate true excellence in businesses that help to make Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole a great place to visit, live and work. Through a clear and transparent process, our judges will search for the businesses showing true innovation and creating unique and exceptional experiences for their customers.

There has been a lot of talk about this exciting new initiative and we are pleased to say the waiting is finally over! We are pleased to invite you to the launch event on Thursday 3rd July at 5.30pm.

Come along and enjoy reception drinks and some delicious canapes in the spectacular new ballroom at the Marsham Court Hotel with views across Bournemouth Bay.

We will be announcing all of the exciting details about the new awards including the 15 chosen categories, the judges and our fantastic awards dinner. Following the event, applications and nominations will begin for the first ever Destination Awards.

To book your place at the launch event click here

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