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Lowestoft Air Festival scoops top award

PUBLISHED: 11:27 11 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:29 05 July 2010

ORGANISERS of the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival are flying high after winning a prestigious tourism award.

After celebrating record-breaking attendances at this summer's show, judges at the 2008 Tourism in Suffolk Awards have declared it the best festival or event in the county.

ORGANISERS of the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival are flying high after winning a prestigious tourism award.

After celebrating record-breaking attendances at this summer's show, judges at the 2008 Tourism in Suffolk Awards have declared it the best festival or event in the county.

Air festival managing director Paul Bayfield received the award during a gala dinner in Ipswich on Thursday night and has spoken of his delight at the accolade.

He said: “I was very pleased and honoured when our name was read out. We've now got something to show for everyone's hard work. I wish I could have teleported everyone involved in the show to the awards as they would have been so proud.

“It really does mean the event is now accepted as part of the tourism calendar and attracts so many people to the area. When you receive an award, it enhances what you are doing because someone else has formally recognised what we do. It was a very proud moment.”

This year's air show, held at the end of July, attracted 445,000 spectators over the two days and organisers said its popularity gave them the mandate to carry on with future shows.

Now in its third year, the Tourism in Suffolk Awards showcase the professionalism and expertise of the county's top attractions, hotels, pubs, businesses and individuals.

The event was sponsored by the Suffolk Tourism Partnership and organised by Archant Suffolk, the sister company of the Lowestoft Journal's publisher, Archant Norfolk.

Other winners included the Kessingland-based Africa Alive wildlife park, in the best large attraction category and the Crown Hotel at Southwold in the sustainable tourism award.

Scott Dolling, of the Suffolk Tourism Partnership, was also honoured for his outstanding contribution to tourism.

This year's Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival has donated more than £27,000 to 25 local charities. Visitors to this year's free show gave more than £80,000 in donations to collectors, of which a significant amount is given to charities which helped out at the event.

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