Every year, the East of England Tourism Awards recognises finalists and winners across a range of categories. One of the most important factors in these businesses’ success is the combined effort of their people to provide the best experiences for customers.

It’s a team effort, and as the old saying goes: Teamwork makes the dream work. But every industry also needs to motivate its next generation of leaders, and tourism is no different.

That’s why the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award is so important.

“This award recognises an individual who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment to the industry,” said Dan Cook, account director at Awaze, the parent company of sponsor Hoseasons.

Eastern Daily Press: Dan Cook, account director at Awaze, the parent company of HoseasonsDan Cook, account director at Awaze, the parent company of Hoseasons (Image: Hoseasons)

“The winner of this award will be someone who is leading by example and setting standards for others to follow. That’s why we’re so pleased to sponsor this particular award and recognise them in this way.”

The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award is a non-entry category and the winner will be selected by a panel of judges and announced at the awards celebration event on Thursday, February 15 at Snape Maltings in Suffolk.

“We are blessed with an array of tourism talent across the region, all of whom deserve recognition, but celebrating the outstanding contribution of one stand-out individual is a great way to inspire others to follow in their footsteps and make a real difference to the industry, both now and for many years to come,” said Mr Cook.

“We were looking through our archives recently and found some old black and white photos of families enjoying a seaside break. They were probably taken around 60 years ago, but the thing that struck me were the smiles on everyone’s faces.

“UK holidays have come a very long way in the decades since – the investment, the standard of accommodation and the huge range of things to do have really raised the bar on what people can expect from a staycation. 

“But when you strip all that back, it’s the ability to spend time with the people who matter most that endures over time. 

“The smiles might be on Instagram these days, but they’ve always been the barometer for a Great British holiday, and that’s what we need to keep delivering to keep our customers coming back for more.”

So what does winning the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award mean for the recipient?

“It comes with a mark of credibility that only a handful of others can say they share,” said Mr Cook. “Individuals play a vital role in the regional tourism economy and it’s great that we have the chance to recognise one of them in this way, helping to raise their profile and underline their importance as a key player in the local tourism community.”

The recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award will be announced at the East of England Tourism Awards ceremony at Snape Maltings, Suffolk on Thursday, February 15. For more information, or to purchase tickets for the event, please visit tourismawards.co.uk

To see the finalists in all of the other categories, click ​here.