Tourism Awards 2018: Winners revealed at ceremony celebrating stars in the business
PUBLISHED: 23:43 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 23:45 08 February 2018
Simon Finlay Photography
The winners of the Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards 2018 have been revealed at a glittering ceremony.
About 300 guests attended the black-tie event at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, in Bury St Edmunds, to hear the winners of the 13 categories.
Keynote speaker Allan Lambert, of headline sponsor Hoseasons, described the event as the biggest and best tourism awards the region had seen.
He said the standard of entries had been high and the winners deserved the recognition they would receive.
“But while the trophies are being presented and the photos are being taken, let’s not forget the runners-up – all of whom have had fantastic years and in turn done their bit for tourism in the east,” he said.
Mr Lambert urged businesses in the tourism sector to work together.
“Because it doesn’t matter if you are running a tea shop in Tuddenham, a caravan park in Kelling, or a self-catering company in Lowestoft – we all know how hard it is out there for businesses right now, so it really does make sense to stick together for the greater good where and whenever we can,” he said.
He also welcomed the news that the Broads had been shortlisted in the BBC Countryfile’s National Park of the Year awards.
EDP editor David Powles said that while many industry sectors had struggled in 2017, it was a different story for tourism.
“It was one of success and growth, both in Norfolk and Suffolk,” he said. “Combined the tourism industry in these two counties is worth just shy of £5bn and is responsible for more than 15pc of all employment.
“That’s a staggering figure and in 2018, with visitor numbers only expected to grow, the fantastic work you guys do become even more important to every single one of us.”
EADT editor Brad Jones said the awards not only celebrated overall effort but also recognised individual contributions.
He said: “Regularly in the East Anglian Daily Times and the Eastern Daily Press, we give our pages over to positive stories about tourism growth and achievement.
“Going forward, I for one know I speak on behalf of both Dave and myself, and our two counties, when I say how grateful we are for your efforts. We will always do all that we can to celebrate them.”
Part way throught the ceremony there was a moment of drama when the fire alarm went off and firefighters were sent to the scene - but fortunately the incident was a false alarm.
The roll of honour
• Best Marketing award sponsored by Dayvisits and Take One Media: SPILL Festival of Performance, Presented by Pacitti Company.
• Best Bed & Breakfast sponsored by Ryans Insurance: Ixworth House.
• Food & Drink Tourism Attraction sponsored by Regency Purchasing group: The Ickworth.
• Best Self Catering sponsored by Norfolk Country Cottages: The Suffolk Escape.
• Customers at the Centre of Everything sponsored by Camplings Linen: The New Wolsey Theatre.
• Best Independent Hotel sponsored by Norwich Print Solutions: Milsoms Kesgrave Hall.
• Sustainable Tourism sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group: Secret Meadows.
• Best Small Visitor Attraction sponsored by Norfolk & Suffolk Tourist Attractions and Shopper Anonymous: Felixstowe Museum.
• Best Large Visitor Attraction sponsored by Norfolk & Suffolk Tourist Attractions and Shopper Anonymous: Dinosaur Adventure.
• Holiday Park/Village sponsored by Willerby Ltd: Searles Leisure Resort.
• Broads Tourism award sponsored by Broads Tourism: Limes Farm Holidays.
• Family Tourism Event sponsored by Dann’s Norfolk Dairy Ice Cream: Aldeburgh Olde Regatta and Carnival.
• Outstanding Achievement award: Martin Dupee.