The awards are organised by Cotswolds Tourism every year to celebrate quality, service and success in the local tourism industry. Judging was based on visits, secret shopper reports and the views of a variety of experts and tourism enthusiasts who approached each category with an open mind to agree Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.
Batsford was runner up with the Silver award in 2012 but went one step better this year to take Gold for 2013, beating off competition from Cotswold Farm Park and Sudeley Castle in the large visitor attraction category.
In a new development, the awards have been aligned with Visit England’s National Awards which means all Cotswold Gold winners go forward for ‘best in England’ consideration.
Cotswold tourism manager Chris Dee said: "Our Cotswold tourism industry has the highest standards and we’re exceptionally proud of our winners and wish them luck nationally. It’s been a tough year for tourism and these awards celebrate the energy and hard work of our area’s tourism industry, an industry that brings around £1 billion a year into the local economy, direct to local communities and businesses."
Batsford PR and marketing manager Susie Hunt said: "We are thrilled to have taken top honours in this prestigious award. The £2 million investment in the new visitor centre was a very brave decision to make at such a challenging time for tourism but has helped to weather-proof the business and vastly improve both accessibility and the visitor experience. The news has given staff a real boost and we’re going into 2013 full of confidence and optimism about the year ahead."
Batsford Foundation Trustee Tony Russell said: "The Trustees of the Batsford Foundation are absolutely delighted to receive this award. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of all the hard work and commitment that all members of the Batsford team have put into making it one of the finest arboreta and visitor attractions, not just in Gloucestershire, but in the UK."