Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 11:57

The Eden Project has been named the “Winner of Winners” at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2009/2010.

Eden, which was a gold winner in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category as well as winning the overall prize, will now be put forward with other gold winners for VisitEngland’s National Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010, to be held in April.

The awards celebrate the ‘best in the South West' and aim to promote and reward the leading businesses and individuals in the tourism industry. Entrants had to demonstrate outstanding levels of customer service, plus exemplary facilities, along with a commitment to sustainability, recycling and the environment and being accessible to all.

The ceremony took place at Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon, on Monday (November 23) and awards were presented by Gill Williams, Travel Editor of the Sunday Mirror. Susan Hill, Eden’s Marketing Director, Ian Williams, Operations Director, Tjarko Wieringa, Financial Controller, Andy Jasper, Research Manager, and Katy Clark, Marketing Coordinator, collected the award for Eden.

Gaynor Coley, Eden’s Managing Director, said: “We were bowled over by this award and the response from our colleagues in the industry on the night. Although we are often quoted as saying ‘We are not just a visitor attraction we are a scientific and educational foundation for the 21st Century’, we aim to attract our major audience by having a cracking visitor destination accessible to all, so we are delighted to be commended for our commitment to sustainability and outstanding customer service.

“This award is for all our staff, volunteers and suppliers, whose hard work, day after day, is our life blood and keeps customers not only coming but coming back.

“The tourism sector in the South West is alive and kicking despite the difficult economic climate and it is inspirational to see how the businesses here are working together to get stuck into the key issues of sustainability. It will be an honour to represent this group at the National Awards next spring. We just hope
we can bring back the trophy!”

Alistair Handyside, Chairman of South West Tourism, said: “Eden is a beacon of light for the region, drawing people into the South West. It has an inspirational role as an international icon, as well as a dynamic visitor experience that simply gets better and better.”