Torch relay is a winner
TO MARK 2012, the judges created a special award at the first English Riviera and South Devon Tourism and Hospitality awards.
Torbay Council's organisation of the Olympic Torch Relay Weekend was recognised for its efforts in helping ensure 2012 was and this weekend in particular would not be forgotten in a hurry.
The event kicked off with Radio 1's 'Start of the Summer' before the torch relay arrived and a host of a fun and sports took place.
A triumph of planning and logistics, it is estimated 100,000 attended and copious media coverage showcased the English Riviera as a beautiful and thriving tourism destination.
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Sales director of the Herald Express Michelle Pugh told the audience: "2012 has been a very memorable year with the unique double celebration of our Queen's diamond jubilee and a home Olympics to celebrate.
"The judges felt that there should be a special award to recognise an initiative that occurred in Torbay — this was an opportunity that was executed to the highest standard.
"This far exceeded expectations.
So we have a special 2012 award – one that was not advertised for entry and one that rewards a huge event that helped to make 2012 memorable.
"It attracted copious national media coverage which showcased the English Riviera as a beautiful and thriving tourism destination.
Torbay mayor Gordon Oliver said: "It was a wonderful surprise and I would like to offer my congratulations to all the team led by Sue Cheriton and her team from residents and visitors services.
"They put together this event which turned out to be one of the most successful we have had in the Bay for many years which brought in thousands of people on the day and over the weekend.
"The route through Torbay with the torch was nine miles — the longest in Britain.
"The work was undertaken with enthusiasm and excellent professional judgement and meant the whole event was very, very successful and went off without any problem whatsoever.
"It was an historic event which we hope the people of Torbay will remember with pride."
Sue Cheriton, head of residents and visitors services at Torbay Council, added: "As well as Torbay Council's team our thanks have to go out to the police, fire service and ambulance who came out in force to ensure we were able to do this thing.
Without them we would never have been able to do it we had 50 volunteers from 999 cadets and South Devon College and we wouldn't have been able to do it without them."