We are edging closer to finding out who will win the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award, sponsored by Hoseasons, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2022-2023.

The winner of this non-entry category is selected from the East of England’s tourism industry by a panel of judges.

Here we speak to Dan Cook, account director at Hoseasons, part of the Awaze group, who explains why he is eager to celebrate hardworking individuals in our tourism sector.

Why were you keen to get involved in the East of England Tourism Awards?

I was fortunate enough to attend last year’s awards and found it incredibly inspiring to hear all about the hard work that every finalist puts in on a daily basis.

It’s that work that helps to deliver exceptional visitor experiences and further propel the east as a superb destination.

Have you ever been judged for an award yourself?

Yes, I have previously won an award for Employee of the Year during my time at Hoseasons, having gone above and beyond to deliver exceptional service to our property owners during challenging times.

I was also honoured to be awarded the role of UK spokesperson on our European Works Council.

If so, will you use that experience when judging this award?

Absolutely - I know just how much it means to be nominated for an award.

What will it take to wow you?

I will be looking for an individual that has made an outstanding contribution to our regional tourism community over a number of years and has had a profound impact on others within the industry.

What advice would you give to any tourism business that’s considering entering the East of England Tourism Awards?

Never underestimate the impact of the smaller details and how these can accumulate into great achievements. It is important that these are highlighted within your entry.

Do you have any anecdotes of tourism businesses who have blown you away over the last couple of years?

I am fortunate enough to work closely with a plethora of business and property hosts that have worked tirelessly, particularly in the face of the pandemic and its various protocols, to ensure customers continue to take away those special memories.

They blow me away with their passion and commitment on a daily basis.

Be sure to nominate your favourite tourism business for this year's awards

Although the Outstanding Contribution Award is a non-entry category, there’s still time to nominate your favourite tourism business for the other categories, including:

B&B and Guest House of the Year

This award will go to a bed and breakfast or guest house that demonstrates excellence across every aspect of the business.

Whether it offers additional extras to make a customer’s stay special, champions local produce, bolsters its team to ensure outstanding customer service, or something else that makes it stand out, the winner will be committed to offering a one-of-a-kind stay.

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

Companies of all sizes can enter this category, which recognises tourism businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences for everyone, particularly those with accessibility requirements.

The winner should stand out in its efforts to develop an accessible visitor destination and will act as an inspiration for other businesses to be more inclusive.

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

This award recognises tourism businesses that are committed to being sustainable, responsible and ethical in how they operate and interact with customers, the wider community and the environment.

The winner will be actively working to address the growing need for more sustainable practices while encouraging other businesses to do the same.

You can view the full list of award categories at www.tourismawards.co.uk

Archant organises and hosts the annual East of England Tourism Awards to recognise and celebrate those businesses and individuals that contribute to the regional visitor economy. The awards are open for entries until Sunday, October 2. To enter, please visit www.tourismawards.co.uk