ISLE of Wight tourism businesses have been recognised for their excellence.

Tourism South East's Beautiful South Awards was hosted by travel editor of the Independent newspaper, Simon Calder, at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.

Three gold, two silver and three bronze awards, alongside two commendations, went to Isle of Wight businesses.

Lorry Middleton from Hovertravel picked up the gold award for customer service.

Lorry said: "I’m a small cog who’s got an amazing award for customer service, but it’s the team's hard work at Hovertravel that’s allowed me to receive this — it feels like winning an Oscar."

The accolade ensures Lorry will automatically be put forward for the national Tourism Superstar Awards run by the Mirror and Visit England — won in 2018 by Cowes-based Jim O’Reilly from Red Funnel.

Hovertravel was also commended for its work in access and inclusivity.

The gold award for the small visitor attraction of the year went to the Isle of Wight Monkey Haven, an honour they'd previously received in 2016.

The company was also commended in the ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism category.

Kelly Wickes, of Monkey Haven, said: "I can’t put it into words what this means to us as a little charity. It’s a massive testament to all of my team who have worked tirelessly to make the IW Monkey Haven what it is. We are absolutely thrilled."

Other Island-based winners were Tom's Eco Lodge, East Afton Farmhouse, Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park, The Mill House in Brighstone and Sibbeck's Farm Glamping.

NFU Mutual was the sponsor of the evening.

Isle of Wight NFU Mutual senior agent, John Heather, attended the awards and was full of praise for the Island winners.

He said: "It emphasises how important the hospitality industry is on the Island and the high level the businesses achieve with such a small Island winning eight awards."

WINNERS: gold medal glamping and alternative accommodation — Tom’s Eco Lodge; gold medal customer service — Hovertravel; gold medal small visitor attraction — Monkey Haven; silver medal wedding venue — East Afton Farmhouse; silver medal camping and holiday park — Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park; bronze medal self catering accommodation — The Mill House; bronze medal glamping and alternative accommodation — Sibbecks Farm Glamping; bronze medal tourism event/festival — Electric Woods at Robin Hill; highly commended ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism — IW Monkey Haven; highly commended tourism event/festival — Terror Island; highly commended access and inclusivity — Hovertravel.