SEVERAL Dorset businesses came away with gongs at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

Ninety-eight awards were handed out at a ceremony hosted by ITV news presenter Kylie Pentelow in the Great Hall of the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare.

There were 425 submissions considered, each going through a three-stage judging process involving marking, visits and panel meetings.

Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorchester was Dorset’s only gold award winner, taking the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year title, sponsored by A Head for PR.

The Italian Villa in Poole took silver in the Venue and Business Tourism Award, sponsored by e-strategy, while Beach Weddings of Bournemouth was highly comm-ended.

South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping Park in Lytchett Minster won silver in Holiday Park and Village of the Year, sponsored by Stephens Scown LLP.

The Green House Hotel in Bournemouth won silver in the Sustainable Tourism Award, sponsored by Green Tourism.

Bournemouth Air Festival collected silver in the Tourism Event of the Year category sponsored by Bristol Airport, while Sherborne Abbey Festival took bronze.

The Tank Museum at Bovington took the silver award in Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, sponsored by Take One Media.

Lyme Bay RIB Charter in Bridport won silver in the tourism Activity, Sport and Experience of the Year category, sponsored by Moore Scarrott, and also took silver in the Outstanding Customer Service Award, sponsored by the Met Office.

Poole Welcome Centre and West Dorset District Council Tourist Information Service both took bronze in the Tourist Information Service of the Year category, sponsored by Quality in Tourism.

The White House at Charmouth won bronze in the B&B and Guest House Accommodation of the Year title, sponsored by Lloyds Carnet.

Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant, Lyme Regis, won bronze in Small Hotel of the Year, sponsored by Buckleigh Linen Services.

Arbor Restaurant at the Green House Hotel, Bournemouth, and The Eastbury in Sherborne, were both highly commended in the Taste of the South West Award, sponsored by Total Produce.