A WEALTH of Isle of Wight businesses have been recognised for their efforts at the South East’s largest tourism awards.

The Beautiful South Awards ­— organised by Tourism South East ­— recognise the best across the region in a number of categories, and Isle of Wight businesses are a strong presence across the board.

This year saw a 40 per cent increase in the number of entries to the prestigious awards.

Hovertravel is celebrating a ‘commended’ mention for access and inclusivity, but is also waiting to hear if team member Lorry Middleton will be crowned Customer Service Superstar of the Year on the night.

Loretta Lale, head of commercial at Hovertravel, said: "Lorry’s name is the one which is most mentioned in our positive reviews.

"He has been nominated in our internal customer service awards consistently.

"He is approachable, engaging and always looking to help customers."

Alec Dabell, managing director at Vectis Ventures, paid tribute to those who work at Robin Hill and Blackgang Chine.

"All our teams work tirelessly to curate events at both parks," said Alec.

"We’re all delighted to have received not just a commendation for Terror Island at Blackgang Chine, but also to be shortlisted as a finalist for Robin Hill’s electric woods in the event of the year category."

Tapnell Farm made it through as a finalist in the glamping and alternative accommodation category for Tom’s Eco Lodge, while East Afton Farmhouse is shortlisted as wedding venue of the year.

Chloe Baker, accommodation manager at Tapnell Farm, said: "We have a wonderful team and this is a true testament to the hard work they put in to ensure we provide only the best experiences for all our guests."

The Mill in Brighstone was shortlisted as a finalist in the self catering accommodation category.

"We’re just over the moon," said owner, Josie Gavoyannis.

"We’ve been on such a high since we heard the news, it’s just fabulous, we’re absolutely thrilled."

Monkey Haven was nominated as small visitor attraction of the year, and commended in the ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism award.

"We’ve been working really hard, trying to implement sustainable changes throughout the park," said marketing manager, Kelly Wickes.

Mark Smith, chairman of Tourism South East, said: "Every year, I’m blown away by the sheer quality of the businesses that enter the Beautiful South Awards.

"It’s a reminder that tourism businesses in the South East are a match for any in the country and some are truly world class.

"This year, the overall standard of entries was higher than ever, making it extremely tough for the judges."

The award ceremony takes place in Brighton on December 10.