There’s still time to submit your entries and nominations for the best tourism businesses in this year’s East of England Tourism Awards – but you have to be quick, because the deadline for entries is just over a week away on September 17.

We are excited to announce that the awards event will take place on Thursday, February 15 at Snape Maltings in Suffolk, where our winners will be revealed!

We have 14 varied categories to enter ranging from Pub of the Year to Large Visitor Attraction and Camping and Glamping. Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to enter to let the region know about their recent successes.

Members of the public can also submit nominations, so if you’ve had an amazing stay, day out or meal this year, then be sure to let us know by visiting the website.

We would like to thank our headline sponsor Hoseasons, as well as our category sponsors Swiss Camplings, Ensors, Howes Percival, Everard Cole, and Adnams, for helping to make these awards possible once again.

Eastern Daily Press: Pete Waters, executive director of Visit East of EnglandPete Waters, executive director of Visit East of England (Image: Visit East of England)

This year’s Tourism Awards are also run in association with Visit East of England and are fully aligned with the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, with the top three businesses in each category going through to the national finals.

Pete Waters, executive director of Visit East of England, said: “Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to promote your business and gain not just regional but potentially national exposure. We had a number of the East of England competition 2023 winners go on to triumph at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and they’ve benefited enormously.”

After the shortlisted businesses have been announced for the Tourism Awards, this year’s finalists will be invited to a glittering black tie event on at Snape Maltings in Suffolk, where the winners will be announced and the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award, sponsored by Hoseasons, will be presented to one exceptional person.

The winner of this award will be selected from the region’s tourism industry by a panel of judges. They will be an individual who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their hard work and commitment to the industry.

Here we speak to Paul Evans, vice president of portfolio at Awaze – the parent company of Hoseasons – about what he will be looking for from the businesses and people in the tourism industry that are hoping to win at this year’s awards.

Eastern Daily Press: Paul Evans, vice president of portfolio at Awaze - the parent company of HoseasonsPaul Evans, vice president of portfolio at Awaze - the parent company of Hoseasons (Image: Hoseasons)

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

I’ve spent my whole working life in the tourism industry – the vast majority of which has been in the UK staycation market, although I’ve also worked overseas too.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most in that time is the variety of roles I’ve had, from front-of-house and reception to housekeeping and food and beverage. There’s really no substitute for experience when it comes to understanding the UK holiday landscape.

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

The East of England is such a special region for Hoseasons. It’s where we started out all those years ago and where we still have a large business footprint. As we approach our 80th anniversary, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate what’s so good about our spiritual home.

What have your previous experiences of judging been like?

Whenever I’ve been a judge before, the thing that has always struck me has been the sheer variety of different experiences that are available to people who choose to holiday in the UK. I’m also forever impressed by the commitment shown by those who make their businesses – and therefore the tourism industry itself – tick.

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

Being part of these awards is not only a great opportunity to benchmark your business against your industry peers, it’s also a great chance to meet and spend time with those people and share ideas, experiences and best practices.
Winning an award is obviously fantastic, but being part of the community of finalists at the awards evening itself is also a very rewarding experience.

The deadline for entries and nominations is Sunday, September 17, 2023. For more information or to submit an entry or nomination, visit

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