News & Blog


Press release – 2 Feb 2018

The Italian Villa, based at Compton Acres in Poole, proudly represented Dorset at the annual South West Tourism Awards, winning the Silver award for “Best Venue & Business Tourism”. The multi award-winning venue was put through a gruelling 3-stage judging process, including mystery visits. The judges congratulated The Italian Villa for excelling through the stages of judging and were particularly impressed by the sheer number of people The Italian Villa bring into the region from across the UK and abroad through their many events, including weddings, corporate, and private events.

The illustrious ceremony took place on Thursday, 1st February, at the Riviera International Centre in Torquay. BBC news presenter, Victoria Graham, hosted the awards ceremony and the opening address was delivered by the inspirational owner of Dartmoor Zoo, Benjamin Mee, whose story was immortalised by Matt Damon in the film “We bought a Zoo”. The night celebrated the very best tourism businesses from across the South West, with trophies being handed to 123 winners from all corners of the region – whittled down from a record 647 entries this year.

Commenting on the win, Tony Beales, Managing Director of The Italian Villa, commented:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have won the Silver Award for Venue & Business Tourism. 2018 is looking likely to be our best year in business yet, and our fantastic team has worked incredibly hard to get us here – making this award even more valuable to us. I believe this is a testament to the incredible team we have at The Italian Villa and I would like to thank everyone who has made winning this award possible.”

Robin Barker of Services for Tourism, who manages the awards programme, added:

There’s little more gratifying in life than knowing you’re making a positive difference, and the feedback we receive from business tells us the awards do just that. So I offer very many thanks to all concerned – the sponsors, judges and entrants. You bring so much to an industry that is right at the heart of this region.