A man who poured more than £600m into Great Yarmouth tourism for almost three decades has been announced as the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award, sponsored by Hoseasons, following his retirement as the CEO of Visit Great Yarmouth.

Alan Carr, who brought weekly fireworks, Maritime Festival tall ships and sea shanties, the first Great Yarmouth Air Show and a massive regeneration seafront project to the borough, stepped down in November 2021.

He was originally headhunted more than a quarter of a century ago from Skegness to drive the town’s tourism sector forward, masterminding TV and radio marketing campaigns, fact-finding visits to other resorts and accessing funding.

The judges said Alan has worked tirelessly, and often in his own time, to promote tourism and work towards improvements. He embraced the Great Yarmouth area and the wealth of all it has to offer, and went above and beyond because he believed in the place he made his family home.

He worked with a board of business leaders to create a successful industry that turns over more than £600 million every year, and built a reputation for staging high-profile events which attracted new visitors and appealed to a wide audience.

“Great Yarmouth has always been one of the UK’s top seaside resorts with the capacity to accommodate over 60,000 staying visitors and nearly seven million day visitors across the main season,” said Alan.

“For 28 years I have been privileged to be in a position to promote and defend the reputation of a special destination with so many key attractors, from beaches to the Broads, from attractions to arcades, from culture to countryside, from events to entertainment, and from heritage to hospitality.

“Great Yarmouth is all about making people happy, so to receive this special award from amongst my peers is very special. I accept it on behalf of all the amazing people I have been lucky enough to work with both in the public and the private sectors and to all the visitors who remain loyal, and to those who are discovering the Borough of Great Yarmouth for the first time. Great Yarmouth – you make me happy!"

About the sponsor

Hoseasons is one of the UK’s leading self-catering accommodation specialists, with more than 40,000 places to stay in coastal and countryside settings throughout Britain. From lodges and parks to boats, cottages and apartments, the brand offers the widest available range of self-catering holidays in the UK.

Hoseasons accommodates more than 1.8 million holidaymakers and more than 100,000 pets every year and is part of Awaze – Europe’s leading managed vacation rentals and holiday resorts business.