Yarmouth’s season launched with tourism awards
- Credit: James Bass
More than 200 tourism leaders and operators from across Great Yarmouth gathered at the town hall yesterday for a celebration lunch and awards ceremony.
The annual event, staged by the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority, culminated in the presentation of a lifetime achievement award to Jean Linday, who started up what has become the multi-award winning Clippesby Hall holiday park near Acle in the early 1960s.
Top contribution to tourism awards went to the council's retiring managing-director Richard Packham, the railway stations's welcome hosts who greet visitors to the town and Seachange Arts, in recognition of the charity's successful staging of the annual Out There festival.
The tourist authority's new chairman, Michael Jeal, opened the event by reminding everyone of the economic importance of tourism which provides nearly one-third of the borough's jobs.
He said: 'The tourism sector is one of the few sectors active in every part of the country and across our great borough. It is a major employer of school leavers and young people.
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'It brings more than £500m annually into the local economy and supports thousands of businesses. We are proud to celebrate our local tourism industry.'
Tourism officer Alan Carr highlighted the array of events already planned for the season ahead from a visit by the national beach volleyball tour and soccer on the sands to a new beach pop concert at the end of June and the ever popular Maritime Festival.
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'For the 12th year we will have Wednesday night fireworks, a free event which brought six out of our 10 busiest days last season,' he said.
Investment in tourism awards went to Palmers department store (milestone award); Sara's Tearooms (training); Merivon and The Fjaerland guesthouses (quality and service); Haven Caister holiday park; Peers Premier Apartments, Caister; St George's Theatre.
Visitor experience awards judged by holidaymakers went to: tearoom of the year, JJ's at Gorleston; self-catering business of the year, Hadleigh holiday suites; holiday park of the year, Haven Seashore; attraction of the year, Wellington Bowl; guest accommodation of the year, The Winchester; Hotel of the Year, Burlington Palm Hotel.