Cornwall Plus, the company that lets out university student accommodation to visitors in the summer, has won silver in the International Visitor Experience category of this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards.

The Penryn Campus-based team lets out 1500 rooms during July and August and around 20 per cent of guests come from overseas – particularly Germany and other parts of Europe. All proceeds from the annual enterprise are re-invested for the benefit of students and staff.

“This is the first time we’ve entered the awards and we’re absolutely thrilled to have done so well,” said Sales Development Manager Lisa Ogden. “The apart-hotel style double and twin en suite bedrooms and flats we offer provide an affordable option for around 8000 visitors each year – bringing in valuable additional summertime trade that not only benefits the universities but the local community too. Some of our guests are independent travellers whilst others are part of organised groups. The Penryn Campus has the accommodation capacity when the students aren’t there so it makes sense to use it – and use it well.”

Cornwall Plus is a trading subsidiary of Falmouth Exeter Plus which manages services and facilities on behalf of Falmouth and Exeter universities. The business works with a number of specialist tour operators in Germany and Holland and its website is translated into eight different languages.

Cornwall Tourism Awards are now in their 16th year. This year’s event took place at The Headland hotel in Newquay, with double Olympic gold medal winner Helen Glover as the guest of honour.

“These awards are not about being good – they are about excellence in what is one of the world’s largest, fastest growing and most innovative industries,” said organiser Robin Barker.  “To be a winner, in a destination with the standing of Cornwall, is something all winners should take great pride in.”