Region celebrates best in tourism

COLCHESTER Zoo and Southwold's famous Swan Hotel led the way last night as Suffolk and Essex claimed a total of 10 awards at the East of England regional round of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence.

COLCHESTER Zoo and Southwold's famous Swan Hotel led the way last night as Suffolk and Essex claimed a total of 10 awards at the East of England regional round of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence.

The Swan won the Small Hotel of the Year title, being described by the judges as “a classic seaside hotel” offering a “relaxing ambiance, delicious food and a serious wine list”.

Colchester Zoo, hailed by judges as “one of Europe's finest zoos, with over 200 species set in 60 acres of grounds”, received the Best Tourism Experience award, with the Latitude performing arts festival, held at Henham Park, near Southwold, in July, being highly commended in the same category.

Essex and Suffolk dominated the Tourist Information Centre of the Year award, with Harwich TIC taking top honours and Bury St Edmunds TIC and Newmarket TIC both being highly commended.


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There was also double recognition for Newmarket Racecourses with the Rowley Mile Conference Centre being highly commended in the Business Tourism Venue of the Year category and Rose Todd, Newmarket Racecourses' official tour guide, receiving a similar accolade in the Outstanding Customer Service category.

Also highly commended were Park Hall Country House at St Osyth, in the Bed & Breakfast/Guesthouse of the Year category, and Blaize Cottages, Lavenham, in the Self-Catering Holiday of the Year category.

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The awards, organised by East of England Tourism were presented at a black tie dinner held at the West Wing at Ickworth, near Bury St Edmunds.

EET chairman Derek Langslow said: “These awards recognise the excellent standards being achieved within the tourism industry throughout the East of England.

“There are some marvellous examples of high quality and excellent customer service, as well as best practice in welcoming visitors with disabilities, promoting local produce and looking after the environment.”

Other winners last night included: Marriott Hanbury Manor Hotel and Country Club, Ware, Herts. (Large Hotel of the Year); Woodfarm House, Helhoughton, Norfolk (Bed & Breakfast/Guesthouse of the Year); Cranmer Country Cottages, Cranmer, near Fakenham, Norfolk(Self-Catering Holiday of the Year); Clippesby Holidays, Clippesby, near Great Yarmouth (Caravan Holiday Park of the Year: Norfolk); Welney Wetland Centre, near Wisbech (Small Visitor Attraction of the Year); Imperial War Museum, Duxford (Large Visitor Attraction of the Year); Strattons Hotel & Restaurant, Swaffham (Taste of England Award and Sustainable Tourism Award); Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Stevenage (Business Tourism Venue of the Year); www.holkham.co.uk (Website of the Year); and Wroxham Barns, Norfolk (Outstanding Customer Service).

The regional winners in each category will automatically be entered for the national Enjoy England Awards, which will be presented in April 2008.

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