The East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024 are open for entries from local businesses and nominations from passionate members of the public. 

The Self Catering Accommodation of the Year award, sponsored by, looks to recognise those committed business owners that have created a unique, relaxing stay for guests that enables them to have a memorable and comfortable holiday experience, whether they offer a cottage, cabin, boat, barn or apartment.

Chris Otty, regional sales director for, tells us more about what he brings to the judging for this category, as well as what he will be looking for from this year’s entrants.

Eastern Daily Press: Chris Otty, regional sales director for cottages.comChris Otty, regional sales director for (Image:

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

It’s important to recognise the hard work that self-catering property owners put in through the year, not just in terms of how well they present their properties and look after their guests, but also in recognition of the benefit they bring to local economies.

What do you bring to the judging process?

My whole working life, including 14 years with, has been spent in and around property, so I’d like to think I’ve got an awful lot of knowledge in terms of how properties should be built for the self-catering market and, equally importantly, prepared and presented to guests. 

I also understand the value property owners get from being recognised with awards like this. I see first-hand the hard work and commitment they put in on a daily basis, and I know how much it means to them to be given credit where it’s due.

What will it take to wow you?

Something different that shows the owner really understands their customers’ needs. I’m always impressed when people go above and beyond to exceed guest expectations and provide a special experience.

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

Entrants should put themselves in the shoes of a potential customer and do everything they can to explain why their property is the right choice over the competition. In doing that they need to tell the story of their unique selling points and make clear all the things they offer, or do, that mark them out as ‘best in class’.

The deadline for entries to the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024 is September 17. Visit for more information.

To find out more about the categories, please​ click here.