Suffolk tourism awards launched

THIS year's Tourism in Suffolk Awards have been officially launched, in recognition of the very best of the county's tourist industry.

THIS year's Tourism in Suffolk Awards have been officially launched, in recognition of the very best of the county's tourist industry.

The awards, now in their third year, are again being organised by media company Archant Suffolk - whose titles include the Evening Star, the East Anglian Daily Times, and the Advertiser and Mercury weekly series - with the support of the Suffolk Tourism Partnership.

There will be a total of 12 awards this year, but with a number of changes in the line-up of categories in response to feedback.

Five of the awards - Best Large Attraction, Best Small Attraction, Best Bed and Breakfast/Guesthouse, Best Large Hotel and Best Small Hotel - are now linked directly in to regional and national tourism awards.

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The winners of these five awards will automatically become regional finalists in the equivalent category of the East of England Tourism Awards, with regional body East of England Tourism offering advice on their entries for the regional round.

Regional winners will then be submitted for the Visit Britain awards, meaning entry into these five categories of the Tourism in Suffolk Awards could be the springboard for national recognition.

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The deadline for entries in all 12 categories is Monday, June 30, to allow time for judging ahead of the awards ceremony, to be held at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Thursday, October 9.

Julian Evans of Archant Suffolk said that when the company first discussed the awards with the tourism partnership in 2006, there were three main objectives - to recognise and reward the best tourism operators in the county, to encourage providers to examine and improve what they were doing and to increase awareness of what the county's tourism industry had to offer.

He said: “In the first two years the awards have clearly achieved these objectives and this year we are moving further forward.

“We would not have been able to achieve this without the support of the main sponsor and the category sponsors. I would like to thank the sponsors for their support and welcome many back on board again for the 2008 awards.”

Yesterday's launch event for organisers and sponsors of the Tourism in Suffolk Awards was held at Christchurch Mansion in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, where a £4.5million restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Ipswich Borough Council has just been completed.

Who would you present with a tourism award? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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