The best Bournemouth tourism traders were awarded for their efforts in the 2011 Bournemouth Tourism Awards.

The annual award ceremony took place at the Bournemouth International Centre last Thursday, 1st December, and featured awards for organisations that have best served Bournemouth’s ever-burgeoning tourism industry.

Live entertainment included local jazz singer Katie Francesca, R&B singer Cleo Sol, and gospel group CK Choir.

Other entertainment came in the form of Adam Tuffrey, a Bournemouth School pupil, who raised awareness for The Meningitis Trust by wowing the audience with his keyboard skills.

James Eels, chair of the Bournemouth Tourism Management Board, said: “No-one would deny that this has been an extraordinarily tough year in the tourism industry, so the winners deserve to be immensely proud.”

A few of the awards included Best Shopping Experience of the Year, which went to Robert Old & Company of Westover Road.

Best Evening Experience of the Year went to 1812 Lounge Bar & Restaurant of Exeter Road, and Large/Medium Hotel of the Year went to Hallmark Hotel of Durley Chine Road.

General Manager of the hotel, Helen Hall, said: “It is an absolute delight!! We are thrilled to have been named a finalist at this year’s Bournemouth Tourism Awards, but to go on and win is a dream come true! It is a testament to our team who have worked so hard to get the hotel into the shape it is today and they have created a renewed sense of rejuvenation and vitality.”

“A hearty congratulations to all the winners of this year’s awards. The evening was spectacular, featuring stunning food and incredible music from some of the region’s top music talent. Our town’s tourism trade is of paramount importance to the strength of the local economy.”

Bournemouth Tourism Awards 2011 winners:

Large/Medium Hotel of the Year: Hallmark Hotel

Best Shopping Experience of the Year: Robert Old & Company of Westover Road.

Best Evening Experience of the Year: 1812 Lounge Bar & Restaurant

Best Small Hotel/Guest House: The Arlington Hotel

Tourism Marketing Initiative of the Year: Pavilion Dance

Emergency Response Team of the Year: Bournemouth Borough Council and Partners

Outstanding Customer Service of the Year: BH Live

Contribution to International Education and Conference & Businesses Sector of the Year: Bournemouth & Poole College Tourism Department

Best Tourism Attraction of the Year: Oceanarium – The Bournemouth Aquarium

Taste of Bournemouth – Restaurant/Bistro of the Year: Escoffier Restaurant

Tourism Transport Initiative of the Year: Tim Sanders

Outstanding Dedication to Tourism Service: Audrey Bellih, Housekeeper of the Carrington House Hotel, Kevin Strudwick, Bournemouth Crime Reduction Retail Partnership, Brian Cummings, Seafront Ranger, Heather & Terry Pearson, Host Family