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Awards highlight Norfolk's tourism heroes

PUBLISHED: 00:14 28 November 2014 | UPDATED: 00:15 28 November 2014

The EDP and Visit Norfolk Tourism Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The EDP and Visit Norfolk Tourism Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2014

Shining examples of excellence in Norfolk's tourism industry were unveiled last night at a black tie awards dinner.

• Best Broads Holiday Experience, sponsored by Wroxham Miniature Worlds - Stalham-based Richardsons Leisure.

• Best Food and Drink Attraction, sponsored by Norwich Print Solutions - The Norfolk Mead Hotel in Coltishall.

• Best Holiday Park/Village, sponsored by Larking Gowen - Searles Leisure Resort in Hunstanton.

• Best Marketing, sponsored by Take One Media, was Norfolk Show - Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and Shorthose Russell.

• Best Self-Catering Establishment, sponsored by Norfolk Country Cottages - Tower House, Mundesley.

• Best Visitor Attraction awards, sponsored by Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association and Shopper Anonymous - Pensthorpe Natural Park (over 50,000 visitors), and Paint Me Ceramics, of Hunstanton (under 50,000).

• Coastal Leisure award, sponsored by Potters Resort - Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Circus.

• Customer Care award, sponsored by Camplings Linen - Bruno Lourenco, the Maids Head Hotel, in Norwich

• Event of the Year, sponsored by SSY Guarding - the Norfolk Food & Drink Festival.

• Business Impact, sponsored by Hansells - The Roman Empire Power and the People Exhibition at Norwich Castle

• Tourism Newcomer award, sponsored by The Boathouse at Ormesby - Davenport’s Magic Kingdom, North Walsham

Now in its 10th year, the EDP/VisitNorfolk Tourism Awards put a spotlight on deserving businesses and individuals right across the county.

Guests at the Holiday Inn Norwich North – a perfect venue sponsored by the Paul Robinson Partnership – were guided through the evening by BBC presenter host David Whiteley.

This year’s winner of the coveted Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by Hoseasons, was Barbara Greasley, a tireless servant of Broads Tourism.

The business she runs with her husband Paul, Norfolk Broads Direct, has been in the vanguard of dramatic change in the hire boat industry, with huge investment in new luxury boats.

Barbara has personally championed the move towards eco-friendly boating and her company was the first hire boat firm to receive the prestigious green boat mark.

For three years – only stepping down in the summer – she was also an energetic and innovative chairman of Broads Tourism.

Managing director of Hoseasons lead sponsor of the awards, Simon Altham, who introduced the award, said: “Barbara has been a shining light in the county’s tourism industry and in the year when she stood down from her role as chair of Broads Tourism this is a fitting tribute. As always we look for the things that people do beyond their day job and the impact they have on the industry sector within the county, and her passion for Norfolk, holidays on the Broads and boating shines through for all to see.”

Bob Crawley, engagement director at EDP publisher Archant, said it was the hard work of people in the industry that was helping to put Norfolk on the map as a holiday hotspot.

“What really makes Norfolk’s tourism offering so special to those that travel from afar to visit, or those that simply travel a few miles from their Norfolk homes, are the people and businesses in this room tonight, the people who are at the heart of creating magic memories,” he said.

“Those magic memories translate to a balance sheet that makes tourism the biggest industry sector in Norfolk – worth a staggering £2.8bn and providing employment for more than 54,000 people.”

Guests at the celebration dinner also stood to applaud and honour the achievements of Brian Potter MBE, chairman of Potters Resort, Hopton, who died earlier this month.

Mr Altham said: “Brian Potter, winner of the first Outstanding Achievement Award 10 years ago, was a truly exceptional leader who not only put Norfolk on the international map but who gave so much of his own time for the greater good in promoting our county.

“Brian will be missed by so many who loved him dearly – but his legacy lives on, and never more so at an evening celebrating the crème de la crème of the tourism industry within the county.”

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