A MYLOR business was crowned Winner of the Winners at last night's 18th Cornwall Tourism Awards, held at Truro Cathedral.

Mylor Sailing & Powerboat School won the top award, beating off competition form dozens of businesses across 27 categories.

Owner Tracey Boynton said: "I'm absolutely chuffed and humbled to win the award, but I couldn't do it without my fantastic team.

"The awards are great because they make us up our game as a business, it's a real educational process and makes us think about things. It is easy to get complacent but the awards make sure that doesn't happen."

The business, which employs 15 people having tripled in size in the last ten years, won two golds and a bronze on its way to becoming the overall winner.

It received golds for accessible and inclusive tourism and active and sporting experience of the year, and a bronze for learning experience of the year.

The event saw 77 awards presented across 27 different categories, with a new one this year for tourism business leadership.

The celebration was enhanced by a stimulating presentation by Cornish entertainer Johnny Cowling, who with support from presenter Daphne Skinnard surprised everyone by breaking into song and gaining huge audience participation in several popular songs.

It was the second time the awards had been held in Truro Cathedral, with more than 320 guests enjoying Cornish food and drink underneath a dazzling light show.

Top winners on the night included Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School, picking up the prestigious Winner of Winners trophy alongside three further trophies, whilst the new Business Leader award was presented to June Donnery from Perran Sands Holiday Park.

There was also a special Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award presented to James Staughton, CEO of St Austell Brewery, who is about to retire following 40 years of contribution to the industry.

Awards organiser Robin Barker congratulated all winners for their courage in taking part, and also thanked the industry for their generosity towards the ‘Cornwall Hugs Grenfell’ appeal and for their fund raising for the new Cornwall Air Ambulance.

Speaking after the event Deborah Heather from headline sponsors Quality in Tourism, said: "As always, Cornwall surpasses itself with the quality on offer, some amazing winners worthy of national if not international recognition, Cornwall is once again leading the way, well done to all.”

The 27 award categories covered everything from glamping, B&Bs and wedding venues to cottages, spas and holiday parks. Other Gold winners on the night included The Park Cornwall, Pentillie Castle and Trevose Harbour House. Food and Drink Golds went to Boscastle Farmshop and Cafe, The Pandora Inn and Una Kitchen. Attraction Golds went to St Michael’s Mount and Camel Valley Vineyards. Bude Canoe Experience took Gold for Learning Experience with Select South West Tours taking their third Gold for International Tourism.

There was a Gold for Boconnoc for Wedding Venue of the Year and for the Headland Cornwall for Business Events Venue. Teacup Tearoom took Gold for Dog Friendly with the Halzephron starring as Dog Friendly Pub. Accommodation Golds went to Glynn Barton Cottages, Penbugle Organic Farm, St Michaels Resort, Stargazy Inn and Coastal Valley Camp and Crafts.

Claire Murray, landlord of The Halzephron Inn in Gunwalloe, said: "The Halzephron Inn is proud to win this award, as we know families with pets choose to go to pubs where they are welcomed with genuine affection and not just accepted. It means a lot to us and our customers with two legs as well as four paws. 

"Our resident setters Brewster and Diego are delighted and love nothing more than welcoming friends old and new.”

The Tourism Event and Festival Gold went to Porthleven Food Festival, with Longstone Lodge and Café winning Gold for New Tourism Business and Tanglewood Kitchen for Tourism Innovation. Visit Truro Visitor Information Centre showed their class taking Gold for Visitor Information, whilst Gold in the popular Wildlife Friendly category was taken by Forest Holidays.

Successful businesses in the Cornwall Awards will be fast tracked into matching categories in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2020, to be held In Exeter Cathedral, with the prospect of being nominated for the national VisitEngland awards later in the year.

Head of Visit Cornwall, Malcolm Bell, added: “The awards shine the spotlight of excellence on some of our best and leading tourism operators in Cornwall. It is this excellence that makes Cornwall one of, if not the leading, UK holiday regions. It celebrates not only the businesses but also the team work from staff, managers and owners as only team work can deliver excellence.”

For a full list of finalists see below or visit www.cornwalltourismawards.org.uk