EDP Tourism Awards Finalists announced

EDP Norfolk Tourism Awards 2013 at the holiday Inn, Norwich North. Guest Speaker Simon Altham from H

EDP Norfolk Tourism Awards 2013 at the holiday Inn, Norwich North. Guest Speaker Simon Altham from Hoseasons. - Credit: Angela Sharpe

An impressive line-up of finalists has been unveiled for the 10th EDP/Visit Norfolk Tourism Awards.

The cream of the county's tourism talent will be celebrating the landmark anniversary at a black tie awards dinner at the Holiday Inn Norwich North, on November 27.

The people of Norfolk have made their nominations for deserving winners in 12 categories which cover every aspect of our rich and diverse industry.

In addition, the winner of an Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by Hoseasons and determined by a special panel of judges, will be unveiled as a fitting climax to the night's festivities.

Pete Waters, brand manager for Visit Norfolk, described the awards as an important way of recognising the value of the county's £2.8bn visitor economy.

Meanwhile, Simon Altham, managing director of lead sponsor Hoseasons, said: 'This year's finalists have once again showed the outstanding quality of tourism businesses in Norfolk. As a judge myself, I know how hard it is to create a shortlist from the wide range of companies that enter the awards, so getting this far is an achievement in its own right.'

EDP editor Nigel Pickover said: 'The tourism industry employs about 50,000 people in Norfolk and this is our tribute to the stars who make it happen through their hard work and innovation.'

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The finalists in the Best Broads Holiday Experience category, sponsored by Wroxham Miniature Worlds, are: Waveney River Centre, praised by judges for the management's 'strong determination to create a truly special place'; Norfolk Broads Direct, singled out for its 'wide range of services and level of investment in boats and infrastructure', and Richardson's Boating Holidays, which impressed with its customer satisfaction and investment both in the site and new boats.

The contenders for the Best Food and Drink Tourism Attraction, sponsored by Norwich Print Solutions, are: the Cliff Hotel, Gorleston, offering a 'warm and friendly welcome' and an 'amazing dining area'; Maids Head Hotel, Norwich, which 'once again ticked all the boxes', and The Norfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall, judges noting 'their food is all homemade, including the granola for breakfast!'

Competing for Best Holiday Park/ Village, sponsored by Larking Gowen, are: Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth, 'offering family holidays and short breaks to suit all budgets'; Searles Leisure Resort, Hunstanton, 'a leisure resort catering for all ages', and Deer's Glade Caravan and Camping Park, in north Norfolk, 'situated in a beautiful forest setting'.

Best Marketing, sponsored by Take One Media, is being contested by: the Norfolk Show (Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and Shorthose Russell), praised for its 'well-defined, targeted campaign'; Amazona, Cromer, 'a strong PR strategy...to grow from a declining visitor number', and Love the Broads, 'an interesting initiative, more a partnership development project than a marketing campaign'.

Finalists in Best Self Catering Establishment, sponsored by Norfolk Country Cottages, are: Plum Tree Cottage, Ashmanhaugh, praised for its care and attention to guests' comfort'; Tower House, Mundesley, 'refurbished this year', and Limes Farm Cottage, Ludham, 'a beautifully renovated cottage, situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty'.

Best Visitor Attraction (over 50,000), sponsored by Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association (NTAA), is being contested by: Blickling Estate, 'much more than a visit to the Hall'; Gressenhall Farm & Workshop, praised for the 'commitment and enthusiasm of staff', and Pensthorpe Natural Park, 'standards throughout the park are extremely high'.

Meanwhile, contenders for Best Visitor Attraction (Under 50,000), NTAA, are: Wroxham Miniature Worlds, 'displays are superbly created with fantastic and imaginative detail', True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum, King's Lynn, 'a fantastic source of the history in the area', and Paint Me Ceramics, Hunstanton, 'Suzy and David Mason have created an interactive experience driven by their amazing enthusiasm and passion'.

Finalists in Coastal Leisure, sponsored by Potters Resort, are: The Grove, Cromer, 'they pride themselves on superb customer service'; Wild Luxury, near Hunstanton, which has 'extended the concept of glamping', and The Hippodrome Circus, Yarmouth, 'Peter Jay is something of a legend in Yarmouth'.

Customer Care, sponsored by Camplings Linen, is being contested by: the Sea Life Centre, Yarmouth, 'Laura leads from the front'; The Maid's Head, 'Bruno so keen to personally host his guests', and Barnham Broom near Norwich, 'Sam, after 11 years at the hotel, is the embodiment of the culture'.

Contenders for Event of the Year, sponsored by SSY Guarding, are: Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, 'a wide variety of events'; Blickling Proms, 'restoring the profile of an iconic event', and Holt Festival, 'a relatively young festival already leading the way'.

Business Impact, sponsored by Hansells, is being contested by: Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, 'going from strength to strength'; Royal Norfolk Showground, 'increasingly an all year round venue', and Norwich Castle's Roman Empire – People and Power exhibition, 'hugely successful'.

Finalists in Tourism Newcomer, sponsored by The Boathouse, Ormesby, are: Benji Cabbell-Manners, of Amazona Zoo, showing 'foresight and vision'; Wroxham Miniature Worlds, 'significant investment and entrepreneurial skills', and Davenport's Magic Kingdom, North Walsham,'a different kind of attraction'.