Five Thanet businesses have made the finals of the new Kent Tourism Awards

Four Thanet sites will compete for the top prizes in the Kent Tourism awards

The finalists for the Kent Tourism Awards 2017 have been announced, with five Thanet competitors making the list.

Twenty-two tourism businesses have made it through in seven categories in the new awards scheme, which rewards exceptional standards of customer service and outstanding visitor experiences within Kent’s tourism industry.

In Thanet the four finalists are:

Coastal Mill Cottage, Birchington in the Rest Your Head category

A quirky, flint cottage available for breaks in Birchington

The Yarrow Hotel in the Big Sleep category

Opened in 2016 on the East Kent College Broadstairs campus, the hotel is the only further education training venue also running as a business in the UK.

Dreamland in the Big Day Out category

The revamped park opened in May this year after a £25million investment. As well as the amusement park Dreamland have hosted big scale gigs and are due to run Screamland this Halloween.

Buoy and Oyster for the Raising the Bar award

The Margate restaurant is run by husband and wife  Simon and Nadine who are passionate about providing customers with great quality food and service in a relaxed and stylish setting.

Turner Contemporary in the Big Day Out category

Photo Dean Spinks

The landmark gallery is the largest exhibition space in the South East outside of London.

Designed by the multi award-winning David Chipperfield Architects, the gallery sits on Margate seafront, on the same site where JMW Turner stayed when visiting the town in the 19th Century.

Exhibitions have included works by Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and the Antony Gormley sculpture, Another Time.

Your chance to vote

Now the public are invited to view and vote for the winners in each category – and be in with the chance to win a special prize bundle.

Destination specialists Go To Places (who deliver Visit Kent) launched the first 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.

Members of the public can now head to the Visit Kent websit ate or Facebook page @visitkent to vote for the winners.

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

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

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.

How do I enter?

Head to the competition section on Visit Kent’s Facebook page at

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, October 23.

All the 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