South West business celebrates 10 years of growth

Services for Tourism Ltd

Services for Tourism Ltd is celebrating its 10th birthday with a national award and the appointment of a new Director.

The company was formed by Robin Barker in 2008 on his departure from the former regional tourism board, South West Tourism, where he had been Marketing Director and Deputy Chief Executive for the previous five years, responsible for membership, quality, training, commercial partnerships and tourism awards.

In the 10 years since launch, Services for Tourism has developed the tourism awards into a major year round operation, attracting over 750 entries across Southern England in 2017, with linked schemes in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Bristol, Bath & Somerset, alongside the regional awards for the South West and South East.

This has been in parallel with long-standing relationships with over 40 sponsors, many of who have remained involved since the company was formed.

When not running the business, Robin is also President of Tourism Management Institute (TMI), a Board Director of the Tourism Alliance, a spokesperson for the South West Tourism Alliance and is a founding Director of VisitDevon.

In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious ‘Outstanding Contribution to Tourism’ award at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

Services for Tourism has worked in partnership with several other businesses through its 10 years, with increasing involvement of Nell Barrington who now has a central role in planning and delivery of all company activities, leading on the tourism awards in Somerset and the South East.

A culmination of 10 years of development was the success of the company in the 2018 ‘AwardsAwards’, in which Services for Tourism was presented the Bronze award in the category of ‘Best Regional Awards’ in London on Friday 27 April.

Robin Barker said: “The last ten years have been the most enjoyable and productive of my working life.  It has been great to see a concept turn into reality and success, but most importantly the feedback we’ve received from hundreds of businesses tells us that we’ve made a difference to people’s lives and business success. That, for me and for Nell, is the top motivator and I’m delighted to welcome Nell to be an official part of the team.”