Passion and innovation propel great businesses into the spotlight

Pre-teen boy riding mountain bike with his sister and parents during a family camping trip, close up

Enthusiastic, innovative businesses will keep visitors coming back year after year - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The East of England Tourism Awards 2021 are open for entries. Here we speak to the judges and sponsors of the Marketing Campaign of the Year and New Tourism Business of the Year categories.


Chris Scargill, tourism partner at Larking Gowen:

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

We have had a deliberate focus on the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector for 15 plus years now, with support for the promotion of the sector via the DMOs and marketing organisations, and provision of key sector specific data for businesses via our annual tourism business survey.

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

Being in business can be a lonely place and we recognise the importance of giving good business advice and helping businesses achieve to their goals. But recognition of quality and best in class is an added boost for a business and we want to be part of celebrating what is great about the sector.

Chris Scargill, tourism partner at Larking Gowen

Chris Scargill, tourism partner at Larking Gowen - Credit: Larking Gowen

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What have your previous experiences of judging been like?

Being judged is not easy for the businesses and you get to see both the confident and the nervous. Ultimately the common denominator is passion and enthusiasm, and once you start drilling down into the business owner’s favourite subject - their business - the process of judging gets more interesting and, while taken seriously, can also be very enjoyable.

With lots of established tourism businesses in the East of England, how can new tourism businesses stand out and attract customers?

The enthusiasm of a new business makes a big impact amongst established businesses. Being new creates interest and being able to keep change in view enables businesses to continue to stand out. Ongoing innovation and improving a great customer experience, is something that I think is key.


Ed Pereira, director of Pear Communications:

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

The East of England Tourism Awards has always been an event of recognition, celebration and support to both businesses and individuals. I believe that hard work deserves recognition and definitely celebration. Having won awards myself, I know how it feels to see the fruits of your labour. The East of England is home to a high concentration of tourism businesses and it is an area I really admire.

What have your previous experiences of judging been like?

I enjoy seeing fantastic brands presenting innovative, exciting campaigns. It is always a pleasure experiencing tourism brands at the height of their power.

Ed Pereira, director of Pear Communications

Ed Pereira, director of Pear Communications - Credit: Pear Communications

What will it take to wow you?

I would need to see something that tells a story but does so in a simple, yet creative manner. What I really enjoy seeing and what wows me is the execution, simplicity, impact and most importantly the passion the business has. Passion is at the centre of Pear and anytime I see that passion in other businesses it really inspires and motivates me.

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

I would say to enter, it's a great opportunity for you to shine and showcase the work and talent you have within your business. If you’re always waiting for the right moment you'll miss more and more opportunities - even if you do not win, there is much inspiration to be taken from the other competitors.

The deadline for entries to the East of England Tourism Awards is midnight on October 3. To see the full list of categories and criteria visit

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