Tourism awards open for entries

ENTRIES are now being accepted for the 2009 Tourism in Suffolk awards and the inaugural Tourism in Essex awards. Organised by Archant, publishers of the EADT, Evening Star and Essex Life, in conjunction with Choose Suffolk - in the case of the Suffolk awards - and Visit Essex, the awards aim to recognise and celebrate all that's good about the tourism industry in both counties.

ENTRIES are now being accepted for the 2009 Tourism in Suffolk awards and the inaugural Tourism in Essex awards.

Organised by Archant, publishers of the EADT, Evening Star and Essex Life, in conjunction with Choose Suffolk - in the case of the Suffolk awards - and Visit Essex, the awards aim to recognise and celebrate all that's good about the tourism industry in both counties.

Tourism is considered a bright spot amid the general economic gloom and with an exchange rate that favours domestic holidays and a positive long range forecast from the Met Office, many operators are anticipating to a bumper year.

Alex Paul, tourism manager at Choose Suffolk said the Tourism in Suffolk Awards provided an opportunity to showcase industry excellence and were a great marketing opportunity for businesses that reached the final stages as well as for the winners.

“Choose Suffolk is delighted to be main sponsor and to be an integral partner in these prestigious awards,” he said.

There are 12 categories for the awards including Best Attraction, Best Hotel and Best Tourism Experience (Suffolk only), which is decided by public nomination. Operators are judged on criteria that include standards of facilities and service, innovation and green credentials.

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Many of the categories link directly to the East of England Tourism Awards, which means winners are automatically shortlisted and can showcase their organisation at a regional level.

Lisa Bone, strategic tourism manager for Essex County Council said the awards could act as a tool to challenge negative perceptions of the county and position Essex higher in the minds of people when choosing a destination.

“The awards will help to encourage outstanding quality and reward those businesses who are passionate about the county and its tourism offer,” she said.

To find out more and to enter the awards go to www.tourismawards.co.uk/suffolk or www.tourismawards.co.uk/essex.

The deadline for the Suffolk awards entries is July 3, 2009 and the winners will be announced at a black tie dinner at Trinity Park on September 24.

The deadline for the Essex awards entries is June 19, with the winners announced at a gala event at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend on September 10.