The EDP Hoseasons Tourism Awards 2016

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sea Life in Hunstanton

Sea Life in Hunstanton

The EDP Hoseasons Tourism Awards 2016 took place on a few weeks ago a county that heavily relys on tourism for its local economy.

They also reward customer service rather than just best this and best that.  This year,  Nathan Barnett from the Hunstanton SEA LIFE sanctuary collected the top award in the customer care category with the judges specifically noting that “individuals are encouraged to, and recognised for, “taking the initiative” in giving customer care and satisfaction” at the sanctuary.

The Tourism Business of the Year was won by Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in South Walsham and the Family Tourism Event of the Year award went to the Old Buckenham Airshow which has also announced that prices will be frozen for 2017 making it more attractive for future visitors rather than those events that jack up prices year-after-year.

The winner of the award for small attraction of the year went to the Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life and the award for best large attraction was the North Norfolk Railway. There is also an unusual award that I haven’t spotted as being handed out at other tourist awards and that is one called Golden Years. It is designed to honour destinations and attractions that thoughtfully make their service suitable for those of us not quite so young and therefore in need of some additional thought on what services are provided. This year the award was also won by the Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in South Walsham giving it an even fuller trophy cabinet.

The Outstanding Contribution Award winners were The Broads Authority and Broads Tourism which the judges pointed out represent the public and private sectors. Working together they were also the driving force in the campaign for the Broads to be given National Park status last year.

In the section given over to food and hospitality, The White House in Brancaster was voted the winner of the Best Food and Drink Tourism Attraction Award.

Searles Leisure Resort in Hunstanton was named best holiday park of the year and one reason, according to the judges, was because of their approach to customer care which is exactly what potential future guests want to hear.   The Independent Hotel Award went to The Assembly Room in Norwich and The Maid’s Head Hotel – also in Norwich – collected the award for best marketing. East View Farm Holiday Cottages was the winner of the Best Self-Catering Establishment Award.

Finally, from a visitors’ point-of-view, one of the advantages of these awards is that potential visitors can read the comments of the judged which explain why the winners were successful. Too often a list is provided with no commentary so I cannot explain to readers just why a destination, attraction or leisure provider has been successful.

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