IT'S official, Bournemouth is the best seaside town in the UK.

Bournemouth scooped the prestigious title at the 2019 British Travel Awards beating Bude in Cornwall, which took second place, while Blackpool claimed third.

The British Travel Awards recognise the top companies in the travel industry with categories celebrating the best in transport, destination, cruise, customer service, holiday extras, and accommodation.

Along with Poole and Christchurch, Bournemouth is branded the Coast with the Most offering visitors the chance to enjoy seven miles of golden sands and Blue Flag beaches.

Other British Travel Awards winners include Longleat which was named best UK leisure attraction, while Cornwall took the gong for best UK holiday county or region.

Hoseasons took best UK holiday parks/and lodges company with Travelzoo named best travel deals provider.

Jet2 won best short-haul airline while Emirates were rated best long-haul.

Chris Saunders, acting service director of culture and destination at BCP Council, said: “We are delighted that Bournemouth has been voted the best UK Seaside Town at the British Travel Awards for the second time, particularly as this is a vote of confidence from the tens of thousands of visitors who come to our town throughout the year. It is fantastic that the huge amount of work done by everyone in the travel, tourism and leisure sectors in Bournemouth is being recognised in this way particularly as we are currently in the middle of the annual Christmas Tree Wonderland festival.”

British Travel Awards’ chief executive Lorraine Barnes Burton said: “Bournemouth is to be congratulated on winning Best UK Seaside Town. Competition was particularly strong this year but ultimately it is the travelling public who decide the winners by voting for the travel companies they consider the best in the business. The British Travel Awards is the largest awards programme in the UK and to win is truly an accolade.”

Craig Mathie, Bournemouth’s destination management board vice chair, added: “In a hotly contested category, the award is testament, not just to the stunning landscape, but to the collaborative approach taken to develop such a unique proposition both for the residents of the conurbation and our regional, national and international visitors. Bournemouth is creating the blueprint for a forward-thinking, innovative and prosperous coastal community and it is great to see this being acknowledged across the UK and beyond.”