News & Blog


Press release – February 2019

Dorset’s leading events venue, The Italian Villa, has been awarded the Gold Award for Best Venue & Business Tourism at the annual South West Tourism Awards. The high-profile tourism industry awards took place at the Bristol Aerospace museum in front of an audience of 400 guests. The awards ceremony took place with guests dining beneath a suspended Concorde jet – the last one to ever fly. Captain Les Brodie, who flew her on her final voyage, was a guest speaker on the night.

The Italian Villa was awarded the highest accolade as a venue that brings exceptional business events, and the associated business tourism, to the region. They also won a bronze award for “Access & Inclusivity”. The venue was put through a multi-stage judging process, including mystery shopping. The panel of judges congratulated The Italian Villa for excelling through each stage of the process and were impressed by ongoing improvements to the venue, the sheer number of people The Italian Villa brings into the county from across the UK through weddings, corporate, and private events, and for making the venue accessible to all.

Tony Beales, managing director of The Italian Villa, commented:

“What a momentous setting to receive these fantastic awards! We are humbled to have been in the same category as some utterly incredible venues across the South West, and to win a Gold Award at this level is just amazing for our whole team. Thank you to Robin Barker & Nell Barrington for organising an incredible event – a genuine celebration of the very best tourism businesses in the South West!”

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