Following a difficult process of vetting 570 entries for this year’s Visit South Devon Photograph competition, a winner has finally emerged. The general manager of the official tourism organization, Visit South Devon, Sarah Stride, admits it was a really tough job to choose the top 25 before putting it up for public vote. Public vote closed on Oct. 15.
The criteria for winning was that the photograph should capture the essence of South Devon, and what the region has to offer. Of the top 25, the people voted Joe Toakley’s photograph of the Bantham Beach. Joe was pleased to have emerged the winner and spoke about how he got the idea to take a snapshot of the beach. He said he spotted the opportunity when his son was playing with tide crashing over the rocks. He maintained that while this picture may not fully cover the beauty and essence of Devon, it certainly had elements that made it such an excellent pick.
Joe’s winning piece will now be used as Visit South Devon website’s homepage image for a 3-month period. The site has a huge traffic of 1.3 million views and just under 3 million page views each year. Francesca Cipriani and Davide D’Antonio—from Italy, and Ally Lowry －from Devon, were the 2 runners up. The Italians made a photograph of Start Point, while Ally captured the Highland cow on Dartmoor. These photos will be used as the cover photos of South Devon’s social media handles (Facebook and Twitter), which have over 30,000 followers. Both images will be featured until the end of the year.
Online exposure is not the only reward for the top 3 winners, they each won family tickets to go enjoy a day at Devon’s Top Attractions in 2019. This prize is sponsored by Devon Association of Tourist Attractions. The winning trio have a variety of options to choose from as Devon has a fantastic array of tourist attractions. In addition, all finalists have the option to write a guest post on photograph and South Devon, which will be featured on the Visit South Devon blog.