Voting opens for the first Kent Tourism Awards

Published on 21st September 2017

The finalists for the Kent Tourism Awards 2017 have been announced, so it’s time to vote for the winners!

22 tourism businesses have made it through to the final shortlist for the seven categories in the brand new awards scheme, which rewards exceptional standards of customer service and outstanding visitor experiences within Kent’s tourism industry.

Now the public are invited to view and vote for the winners in each category - and there’s the chance to win a special prize bundle by doing so.

Destination specialists Go To Places (who deliver Visit Kent) launched the first ever Kent Tourism Awards in August, and invited big and small businesses to nominate themselves for an accolade.

The 2017 categories include best small and large accommodation providers, best family friendly businesses, best small and large visitor attractions, tourism pub of the year, and the ultimate tourism experience of the year.

97 entries were received, and a judging panel of tourism experts from outside Kent have now whittled these down to a shortlist of three finalists per category.

From Thursday 21st September, members of the public can head to the Visit Kent website or Facebook page (@visitkent) to vote for the winners.

As a special incentive – and to help more people experience the best of Kent’s incredible tourism destinations for themselves - anyone who votes will automatically be entered in to a prize draw to win six sensational days out at a range of Kent attractions in 2018, worth approx. £300 (terms and conditions apply).

Voting closes on Friday 20th October and the businesses with the most votes will be crowned at a gala ceremony on 24th November.

So whether you’ve enjoyed a fantastic family day out or been treated like royalty as part of a splendid staycation, make sure you vote for tourism businesses that are worth shouting about in the Kent Tourism Awards.

How do I enter?

Voting in the Kent Tourism Awards and entering the prize draw is easy.

  • Head to the competition section on Visit Kent’s Facebook page ( 
  • You can also find the link on
  • Vote for your first choice businesses in each of the seven award categories.
  • Once you have selected your pick of winners, please share a few words about your vote and Kent’s best tourist attractions. 
  • You’ll need to enter your email address and your full name to enter the competition. A winner will be selected at random on Monday 23rd October. 

The Kent Tourism Awards Scheme was created to further motivate the county’s tourism businesses to create even more compelling experiences and adopt best practice. The scheme rewards exceptional standards of customer service and outstanding overall visitor experiences. 

Finalists will receive an official award, accreditation and feature in a Visit Kent social media and PR campaign.  Winners will also get the chance to go forward to the national Awards for Excellence operated by Visit England (subject to Visit England eligibility criteria). 

Kent Tourism Awards finalists 2017

Rest Your Head Award, sponsored by M Assessment Services (Small Accommodation Provider of the Year) 

  • Elmley Nature Reserve 
  • House of Agnes 
  • Coastal Mill Cottage - Mulberry Cottages

Happy Family Award, sponsored by Quinn Estates (Family Friendly Business of the Year) 

  • Penshurst Place and Gardens
  • Diggerland
  • Nethergong Camping 

Big Sleep Award, sponsored by Sleeping Giant Media (Large Accommodation Provider of the Year)

  • Eastwell Manor 
  • Hotel du Vin 
  • The Yarrow Hotel 

Big Day Out Award, sponsored by Brachers (Large Visitor Attraction of the Year)

  • The Historic Dockyard, Chatham
  • Turner Contemporary 
  • Dreamland 
  • Leeds Castle

Hidden Gem Award, sponsored by Southeastern (Small Visitor Attraction of the Year)

  • Battle of Britain Memorial
  • Copper Rivet Distillery 
  • Go Ape Bedgebury

Raising the Bar Award, sponsored by Shepherd Neame (Tourism Pub of the Year)

  • Buoy and Oyster
  • The Dog at Wingham 
  • The White Horse 

Lasting Impression Award, sponsored by Pillory Barn (Ultimate Tourism Experience of the Year) 

  • Champing - Churches Conservation Trust, St Mary's Fordwich 
  • Canterbury Medieval Pageant - Canterbury BID 
  • bOing! - Gulbenkian, University of Kent 

Visit Kent is delighted to be working closely with Heart Kent as the official media partner for the awards. 


This competition closes Friday 20th October

The winner will receive an Association of Tourist Attractions of Kent pass, which includes six entry passes, valid for two adults, at the following listed attractions (subject to opening times, not valid on Bank Holidays or certain special events): Bayham Old Abbey, Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, Belmont House & Garden, Betteshanger Park, Biddenden Vineyards, Brogdale Collections, Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury Guided Tours, The Canterbury Tales, The Chapel Down Winery at Tenterden Vineyard, Chiddingstone Castle, Chislehurst Caves, Cobtree Manor Park, Deal Castle, Diggerland, Dover Castle, Dover Museum, Eastgate House, Goodnestone Park, Great Comp Garden, The Guildhall Museum, Hall Place & Gardens, Hever Castle, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Downe House, Hop Farm Family Park, Hornby Visitor Centre, Howletts Wild Animal Park, Hugenot Museum, Hush Heath Estate, Ightham Mote, Jetstream Tours, Kent & East Sussex Railway, Kent Life, Leeds Castle, Lullingstone Roman Villa, Maidstone Museum, Mote Park in Maidstone, Mount Ephraim Gardens, Old Brook Pumping Station, The Old Lighthouse in Dungeness, Penshurst Place & Gardens, Port Lympne Reserve, Quex Park, The Rare Breeds Centre, Richborough Roman Fort & Amphitheatre, Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Rochester Castle, Rochester Cathedral, Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, Samphire Hoe in Dover, Shepherd Neame Brewery Tours, Spa Valley Railway, St Augustine’s Abbey, Temple Manor, Tonbridge Castle, Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery, Upnor Castle, Walmer Castle & Gardens, Wildwood.