Stephen Chidgey, the owner of a self-catering holiday property in Tregonetha, says entering and subsequently winning awards has increased bookings and improved the service he provides.
For a third consecutive year, The Old Barn has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Cornwall Tourism Awards. Recent accolades have included winning gold in the self-catering category in both 2016 and 2017 and following that success up with gold in the South West regional awards too.
“I’ve learnt so much since I first started entering and the business has really benefited,” said Stephen. “It’s made me really think about every aspect of customer service and what was needed to set ourselves apart. I’ve also met other people in the industry through the workshops and other events that Robin Barker and his Services for Tourism team organise and that’s proved inspiring too.
“Tourism is vital for the Cornish economy and it’s in all our best interests to make our visitors feel valued and special. This year’s summer has been spectacular, but we can’t just rely on the weather to give people a good time.”
Every Cornwall Tourism Awards’ applicant gets feedback on their entry and there are three phases in the judging process. Winners will be announced on 1 November in a glittering ceremony being held for the first time in Truro Cathedral. There are 77 selected finalists and 26 award categories.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Stephen, who is up for a Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable award. “There aren’t many opportunities to get together with so many people working in the tourism business – and that’s why it’s a calendar highlight.”