First details of Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards are revealed
PUBLISHED: 18:03 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:03 24 April 2019
The best tourism businesses in East Anglia will be celebrated at a prestigious annual awards ceremony.
Archant's Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards 2020 were launched to key figures in the industry today, ahead of a public launch in July when entries open.
Tourism businesses, sponsors and past winners gathered at Kesgrave Hall – which will host the event on February 27 next year – to hear about the ongoing success of the region's visitor economy.
The growing sector now supports over 100,000 jobs in Norfolk and Suffolk, and is worth billions of pounds.
At today's event, Martin Dupee, a past recipient of the outstanding contribution to tourism award, and director of operations at Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, said it was important to recognise the great work being done across the region.
And Bella Hall, from Old Hall Cafe and Walks – home of the Southwold Maize Maze, which won the 2019 Best Small Visitor Attraction - encouraged businesses to put their names forward for 2020.
Brad Jones, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, said: “The economic importance of this sector to our region cannot be under-estimated.
“And we know the figures are rising. More and more people are choosing the East of England – to those of us living here, that's really no surprise, but fantastic to see.
“It is down to the innovation, investment and hard work of people in the industry.
“So it's really important we celebrate this success - and these awards are the pinnacle of that.”
The awards, which merged across the two counties two years ago, will once again sponsored by Hoseasons.
The big winners last time were the Maids Head Hotel and the Assembly House, both in Norwich, which bagged two gongs each.
Africa Alive! won a prize for the best large visitor attraction in the region, while Fritton Lake Resort was named best holiday park/village.
Meanwhile, Greg Munford, chief executive director of Richardson's Holiday Parks, was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for his tireless contribution to the sector.