Overcoming challenges to build a brighter future for tourism in the East of England

Family with child are looking out window in hotel room. Best places for family travel concept

The East of England Tourism Awards celebrates resilient businesses that are working towards a sustainable future - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The East of England Tourism Awards 2021 are open for entries. Here we speak to the judges and sponsors of both the Resilience and Innovation Award and the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award categories. 

RESILIENCE AND INNOVATION AWARD 

Joanna Nicholls, partner at Howes Percival: 

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

Leisure and tourism sector clients have been a valued part of our business for many years. We have a team who service the sector, which I head up, which includes a number of members with different legal specialisms pertinent to the sector.   

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

Many of our clients operate in the tourism sector and we are keen to support them by championing the industry and showcasing the East of England as a fantastic destination to visit. We are particularly keen to showcase those businesses which have shown real resilience and innovation throughout what has been a very difficult year for many.   

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What do you bring to the judging process? 

I have a wealth of experience working with a wide range of clients which operate in the tourism sector. I therefore have a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities which businesses have been facing prior to and during the pandemic. 

STEVE HODGKIN / Credit - CHADWICKS

Joanna Nicholls, partner at Howes Percival - Credit: Neville Chadwick Photography

What will it take to wow you? 

So many of the businesses working in the region’s tourism sector have shown incredible resilience and innovation and I’m sure we will receive many strong entries for this category. I will be impressed by businesses which are able to demonstrate particularly clever innovation while helping to secure its future and protect its people. 

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

Be candid about the challenges you have faced as a business throughout these uncertain times, the steps you have taken to overcome them and how the innovation which has come from this period can be carried forward into the future. 

Do you have any anecdotes of tourism businesses who have blown you away during the pandemic? 

The majority of our clients in the sector have been extremely resilient during the pandemic and have stood together to help each other get through it, a credit to our regional leisure and tourism sector.   

ETHICAL, RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AWARD 

Simon Baddeley, commercial director of Biffa: 

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

Biffa supports and provides services to national and SME companies within the tourism sector across the UK. East Anglia is a renowned area for tourism attracting visitors from the across the country and already enjoys a strong presence within the area covered for this award.   

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

Biffa supports and recognises the needs of all businesses to the challenges of sustainability, recycling and waste. We have a strong presence within East Anglia and through our partnership with our local authority clients, residents living within the area and our business partners, this award gave us the opportunity to showcase Biffa’s commitment to the future of the environment. 

What will it take to wow you? 

Innovation and commitment to a sustainable vision, with examples of the challenges in meeting a sustainable future and solutions embraced, not just in words but in doing. 

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

Share the challenges you have had in moving towards a more sustainable business and what you have learnt. Take us through your experiences and share your journey, explaining how changes made will benefit the wider community. 

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 www.tourismawards.co.uk

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