It’s time to enter EDP/Visit Norfolk Tourism Awards
- Credit: Angela Sharpe
The EDP/Visit Norfolk Tourism Awards, in association with Hoseasons, are celebrating their 10th anniversary year – and we want our readers to make them the most successful yet.
To launch these very special anniversary awards, we returned to Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton – winner of the first outstanding achievement award back in 2005 – to toast the continued success of a business that remains a flag-bearer for Norfolk tourism.
We are lucky to live in a county with a breathtaking array of attractions, from zoos and theme parks to museums and gardens, not forgetting great pubs, restaurants and cafés.
And if summer sunshine makes you want to head to the seaside, the choice is simply endless, from the noisy excitement of Great Yarmouth, to the serene beauty of Holkham beach.
We want you to nominate your own favourites, whether it is the zoo you love to return to year after year, or the café where the welcome always matches the food.
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Our awards put a shining light on the businesses, events, teams and individuals that help to drive an industry which contributes £2.7bn to the local economy.
Simply visit http://norfolk.tourismawards.co.uk to view the categories and make your nominations online; businesses are invited to nominate themselves.
The closing date for nominations is July 31 and, following judging, the winners will be announced at a black-tie awards dinner at the Holiday Inn Norwich North, in November.
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EDP editor Nigel Pickover said: 'We are delighted to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our tourism awards, which give a well-deserved pat on the back to all the stars in an industry that directly employs around 50,000 people in Norfolk.'
Simon Altham, managing director of lead sponsor Hoseasons, said: 'We are thrilled once again to be involved in the EDP Tourism Awards. In a year which has seen great progress and innovation across tourism in Norfolk, we are delighted to be able to help recognise those people who make the county such a special and magical destination.'
Pete Waters, brand manager for Visit Norfolk, said: 'The tourism awards are an important way of recognising the value of the visitor economy to Norfolk and also showcasing the people who help make it such a success, none more so than in the outstanding achievement category.'
• THE VARIOUS CATEGORIES AND THEIR SPONSORS
The annual award for outstanding achievement is decided by the judges, but your nominations are vital in determining all the other winners.
Brian Potter MBE, who won the very first outstanding achievement award, is proud to be still associated with the awards 10 years later as sponsor of the Coastal Leisure category.
He said the intention was to 'put the spotlight on businesses and events that make our seaside great'.
Nominations might go to anything from a circus or a pier show to a clifftop café.
He said: 'Sponsoring the Coastal Leisure category highlights important tourism businesses that in previous years have not had a specific category in which to showcase their individual tourism offering. We hope that this year even more companies will enter to showcase their uniqueness and find the recognition they deserve.' Philippa Harris, managing director of Take One Media, which is sponsoring the Best Marketing Initiative category, said: 'Take One Media is keen to see the continued development of tourism in the county and specifically the increasing professionalism of the marketing approaches used.'
Heather McCraith, manager at Norfolk Country Cottages, sponsor of Best Self-Catering Establishment, said: 'As a quality-assured holiday letting agency, we prioritise quality and fantastic customer service and are therefore proud to sponsor the Best Self-Catering Establishment award.'
Mike Minors, developer of The Boathouse, a new country pub and wedding venue by Ormesby Broad, is sponsoring a new category for 2014 searching out the most successful Tourism Newcomer, either a new business or a dynamic team or individual.
He said: 'We passionately believe Norfolk has the best tourism offering in the UK. We support this award with great pride and enthusiasm as it celebrates investment and innovation and a passion to excel that brings continued prosperity and growth to the region.'
Richard Turvill, director of Camplings Linen, sponsor of the Customer Care category, said: 'We have been providing linen hire and laundry services across Norfolk for more than 100 years. We are proud to sponsor the Customer Care award as we ourselves embrace the philosophy for our customers that 'it's the service that makes the difference'.'
Nigel Briggs, of SSY Guarding, which offers security services in Norfolk such as event stewarding and door supervision, is sponsoring Event of the Year, which makes a welcome return to the categories.
He said: 'In the last few years our business has seen an increased number of events in the county, which in turn is bringing in a higher number of visitors, which is fantastic for Norfolk.'
Sean Green, project development manager of the county's latest attraction, Wroxham Miniature Worlds, is sponsoring Best Broads Holiday experience for the first time.
He said: 'Opening this year we are new to Broads tourism, but it is great to support all the hard work of the thousands of businesses that work together to make the Broads a very special place to come for visitors.'
Roger Holden, managing partner of Hansells Solicitors and Financial Advisors, which sponsors the Business Impact category recognising businesses making a significant impact on the region's tourism economy, said: 'Hansells is delighted to sponsor the EDP Tourism Awards for the eighth consecutive year.
'As solicitors to the city and county, Hansells is dedicated to recognising those businesses that make a significant impact on the region's tourism industry and economy.'
Pippa Redmond, director of Norwich Print Solutions, sponsor of Best Food and Drink Tourism Attraction, said: 'We are very proud to be sponsoring the awards.
'Tourism contributes a large amount to businesses within Norfolk by stimulating and sustaining the local economy, as well as creating a diverse and vibrant culture within which many businesses thrive.'
Peter Williamson, vice-chairman of Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association, sponsoring Best Visitor Attraction, said: 'Norfolk is blessed with some of the finest and most diverse attractions in the country.'
Larking Gowen Chartered Accountants is sponsoring a new category for Best Holiday Park/Village.
Chris Scargill, tourism partner for Larking Gowen, said: 'We are absolutely delighted to again support the tourism awards.
'It is the passion businesses demonstrate throughout the judging process that is truly impressive and reminds me of what we strive for in business.'