East of England Tourism Awards 2022-2023: 'These awards celebrate our region’s best attractions’

Bonding through adventures. Charming little girl climbing down the trail at a rope park while being

The Large Visitor Attraction of the Year and Small Visitor Attraction of the Year awards recognise businesses that are creating truly memorable guest experiences - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The East of England Tourism Awards 2022-2023 are open for entries. Here we speak to the judges and sponsors of the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year and Small Visitor Attraction of the Year awards.

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Joanna Nicholls, partner at Howes Percival:

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

Many of our clients operate in the tourism sector and we are keen to support them by championing the industry and showcasing the East of England as a fantastic destination to visit.

We are particularly keen to recognise large visitor attraction businesses as they attract tourists to visit from all over the UK, making a direct contribution to the visitor economy and providing wider benefits to local communities.

These awards celebrate our region’s best attractions and we’re proud to be involved again this year.

Joanna Nicholls, partner at Howes Percival

Joanna Nicholls, partner at Howes Percival - Credit: Howes Percival

What do you bring to the judging process?

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I have a wealth of experience working with a wide range of clients that operate in the tourism sector including owners of visitor attractions, hotels, restaurants and holiday parks, to name a few. 

I therefore have a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities which a variety of businesses in this sector face.

What will it take to wow you?

Many of the businesses working within the region’s tourism industry have shown incredible resilience throughout recent uncertain times. 

I will be impressed by businesses that go the extra mile and continually try to offer something different and exciting to further visitor experiences despite the challenges they have faced.

What advice would you give to a tourism business that’s considering entering this award?

Shout about your achievements! There are so many fantastic attractions across the region, offering a range of experiences attracting all generations. 

If you are passionate about your business and want to showcase your amazing team, share this with us. Don’t be put off by other applicants.

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Martin Dupée, chair of Norfolk & Suffolk Tourist Attractions:

Can you tell us a bit about your involvement in the tourism industry?

I became part of the region’s tourism industry in 2004 and have since led the commercial operations at a number of well-known attractions. I’m delighted to be serving my second term as chair of NSTA and remain passionate about championing the activities of our many wonderful attractions – both large and small. I also know first-hand what it takes to deliver and make a great day out.

What do you bring to the judging process?

I have had the honour of many years as a leader within visitor attractions and have also been judging the awards for nearly as many. I am really looking forward to seeing the exceptional service and passion offered by the operators and teams working at the region’s smaller attractions.

Have you ever been judged for an award yourself?

As a manager and director of a visitor attraction, I have been able to welcome judges and share the business I am so passionate about. 

I have even had the privilege of winning a few times, too, and I was extremely honoured to receive the award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award at the Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards in 2018.

Martin Dupée, chair of Norfolk & Suffolk Tourist Attractions

Martin Dupée, chair of Norfolk & Suffolk Tourist Attractions - Credit: NSTA

Will you use that experience when judging this award?

Absolutely, I have seen both sides, sometimes as a judge and sometimes welcoming judges to visit. 

I can see and understand what a real impact individuals make to an attraction as we create memories for those who visit us.

What advice would you give to a small visitor attraction that’s considering entering?

Believe in the experience you provide visitors on a daily basis and be very proud of what you add to someone’s day. 

By entering the awards, you can not only gain the recognition you genuinely deserve, but it provides a massive opportunity to promote the business to others who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to visit. With so many hidden gems in the region, it’s time to shine.

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