East of England Tourism Awards 2021: Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Little boy watching the shoal of fish swimming in oceanarium

The winner of the Large Visitor Attraction of the Tear award needs that special bit of magic that gets visitors excited - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The East of England Tourism Awards 2021 are open for entries now, and the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year award recognises businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business.    

The attraction must receive 75,000 visitors or more per year, or employ more than 10 full-time equivalent members of staff. 

“Visitor attractions are wonderful places that deliver positive, shared emotional experiences,” says Dave Gibbons, managing director of KNP, which sponsors the award. “Whether that be groups of friends or families where you can see three generations together.   

Dave Gibbons, managing director of KNP

Dave Gibbons, managing director of KNP - Credit: KNP

“But not only that, they employ large numbers of people and generate money for the local economy. So it’s vitally important to see large visitor attractions thriving again, and we want to support that.” 
Entrants must be capable of attracting day visitors, tourists and local residents, which Dave says is essential to long-term success. 

“Attracting those different groups delivers a more regular revenue stream,” he says. “You’re less dependent on having to maximise key periods as locals and day visitors spread across the year.  

“With a regular revenue stream it’s easier to make long-term decisions around staffing etc. All this has a knock-on effect that filters through to benefit local businesses.” 

The fact that visitors can enter attractions is particularly important for this award, and Dave urges anyone who has a favourite attraction, or has had a particularly memorable experience at one recently, to take the time to nominate it. 

“It’s important for various reasons,” he says. “For the attraction itself it’s important to get feedback, and to know they’re doing the right things, providing a positive experience, and meeting the expectations of their customers. And by entering as a guest, you’re helping spread the love and letting others know what a great time they’ll have. 

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“People want to know they’re going to have a great day out at a visitor attraction, and I know I’d choose to go to one that other people have voted for. It instils confidence.” 

So what will make a stand-out entry for the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year award? 

“To really stand out the attraction has got to offer something for everyone,” explains Dave. “The right balance of rides, activities, attractions, dining, and access. You need to give people reasons to come back so I’ll be looking for what’s new as well. It needs that special bit of magic that gets you all excited and you can’t get elsewhere.”

The East of England Tourism Awards 2021 is open to tourism businesses operating across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Entries close at midnight on Sunday, October 3. Shortlisted finalists will go through a judging process, which may include a site visit, before being announced on Saturday, January 15, 2022. 

A glittering black-tie event will then take place at Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire, on Thursday, February 24, 2022.  

Enter the East of England Tourism Awards now at www.tourismawards.co.uk 

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For over 30 years we’ve helped clients, from local businesses to multi-nationals, by delivering expert advice and a comprehensive range of integrated print and mailing solutions.  

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