Here’s to the best of our tourism industry

THE holiday trade is vital to the prosperity of Lowestoft and Waveney.

So this year, The Journal is again teaming up with the district's tourism forum to recognise and praise the efforts of the industry in the 2010 Sunrise Coast Tourism Awards.

This is the fourth year that we have supported the awards. Last year's winners included the Hotel Victoria, Lowestoft; The Upstairs Gallery and Catherine House, at Beccles; Beccles bell tower; and Africa Alive! and Heathland Beach caravan park, at Kessingland.

Waveney attracts more than four million visitors a year, and much of this success is down to the wonderful attractions we have, including country hotels, stately homes, wildlife parks, traditional accommodation, theatres and theme parks.

Even the heavy rain in August failed to dent Waveney's thriving tourism trade, with businesses reporting a successful summer.

Tourism is now worth an estimated �238,000,000 to the Waveney economy, supporting 12pc (about one in eight) of all jobs in the district.

Darren Newman, Waveney District Council's service manager for tourism and heritage, said: 'Waveney Tourism Forum is delighted to be teaming up again with The Journal for the Sunrise Coast Tourism Awards. Waveney has a very proactive and innovative tourism industry which is always trying to exceed visitor expectations.

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'The tourism awards are a way of celebrating the achievements of the industry.'

Kirsty Chapman, of Africa Alive! said: 'We are very proud to have received the Sunrise Coast Tourism Award for Best Large Attraction 2009.

'We take great pride in displaying the award for our visitors to see as a reflection of the commitment of each and every member of staff at Africa Alive! in delivering high standards and ensuring all our visitors enjoy a great day out.'

This year's categories include: Best Hotel, Best B&B, Best Holiday Park, Best Large Attraction, and Best Small Attraction.

Members of the tourism forum's management advisory group will also be voting on the Tourism Innovation award.

This will recognise a new service, product or investment to improve the tourism experience in the district.

The judging panel, made up of members of the tourism forum and The Journal, will review all nominations before announcing the winner at the Sunrise Coast Tourism conference and awards on December 14.

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