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Help highlight the good work of our local tourism champions

PUBLISHED: 14:13 24 July 2016 | UPDATED: 08:39 25 July 2016

A busy weekend at Ranworth staithe on the Norfolk Broads.

A busy weekend at Ranworth staithe on the Norfolk Broads.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2010

As the countdown begins for the EDP Hoseasons Tourism Awards 2016, tourism correspondent LAUREN COPE will turn the spotlight on two of our categories every week. This week, we look at an award celebrating the best of Broads tourism and another highlighting the businesses that put at their heart customers in their prime.

EDP Hoseasons Tourism Awards 2016 logo.EDP Hoseasons Tourism Awards 2016 logo.

Tourism in Norfolk and the stretches of its Broads and rivers go hand in hand.

The waterways are an iconic part of the county’s appeal, attracting millions of visitors to navigate them every year.

But in and around the Broads, there are countless pubs, restaurants, attractions, hire boat operators and voluntary groups working to promote the best of the area and prolonging visitors’ stays on the water.

This year, our newly-launched Broads Tourism Broads National Park Tourism Business of the Year Award will sift through the nominees to pick the finest on offer.

Catering for older customers

With an ageing population, it is more important than ever for businesses to cater to mature customers.

Our Kingsley Healthcare Golden Years Award will celebrate the tourism businesses that go the extra mile to offer older customers a warm welcome and make them feel at home.

People aged 65 and over make up about 23pc of Norfolk’s population, above the national average.

So whether it is tailored for locals or tourists from further afield, small touches to make days away, dinners out or holidays more memorable should be praised.

Stephen Pullinger (pictured), head of PR at Kinglsey Healthcare, said: “Providing quality care while respecting our residents’ needs, choices and preferences is at the heart of everything we do as a business and we are passionate in the belief that older people should always have the best possible quality of life, including those times when they are on holiday or enjoying leisure activities.”

Any potential winner should “best exhibit the special qualities” of the Broads – which is part of the National Park family and is branded as such – and offer a safe and a high-quality experience.

Being environmentally-friendly, and conscious of the local community as well as visitors should be at the forefront of their work.

Rachael Shakespeare, board member of Broads Tourism, said: “We are constantly impressed by the innovation, passion and quality of the tourism and businesses operating in the Broads.

“Not only do they deliver a premium visitor experience that is in keeping with the unique proposition of the Broads, but they are creative and highly proactive in driving trade year-round.

“We are delighted to see these businesses recognised in a new category of their own and we encourage all businesses, both large and small, to enter.”

So if you have fond memories of idyllic breaks on the Broads, make sure you put forward the reliable firm or welcoming pub that made it so special.

• Nominations close on Saturday, August 13 – to enter yours, and for more information on the categories, visit http://norfolk.tourismawards.co.uk

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