Tourist traps plan to go for gold

Two of North Norfolk's top tourist traps won silver awards at a national ceremony recognising the very best of the industry - and next year they may both be going for gold.

Two of North Norfolk's top tourist traps won silver awards at a national ceremony recognising the very best of the industry - and next year they may both be going for gold.

Wroxham Barns and Byfords at Holt were individually recognised as second-best in the country in their fields by Visit England's Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, which were presented in York last Thursday night.

But Wroxham Barns' owner Ian Russell and Byfords' owner Iain Wilson both say they are considering building on their success by trying for the top spot in next year's awards.

Mr Russell, whose exceptional customer service and hands-on approach won him the customer service category award, said: 'I'm going to go for it again.


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'The process keeps you constantly improving - it forces you to question what you think you're doing and say, 'Can we demonstrate this? Can we prove it?'

'We're only as good as the people who are there right now think we are - the only thing that matters is the next visitor.'

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Mr Russell, who was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to the tourism industry, said receiving the Enjoy England award was 'as good as it gets'.

Byfords owners Iain and Claire Wilson were applauded in the B&B/guest accommodation category for their innovative Posh B&B, offering the homely, informal feel of a bed and breakfast with the finish and quality of an upmarket hotel.

Mr Wilson said: 'We're not quite punching the air but we are really proud to be recognised on a national scale.

'We entered one of the hardest categories - we're a commercial business with 60 employees up against much smaller outfits who can keep a closer eye on every detail.

'Next year we may try again - we've been having a look at the other categories, and we think there's a few we could be really strong on.'

East of England Tourism partnerships manager Jane Cryer said: 'It's great news for the region and for North Norfolk in particular. These are the Oscars of the tourism industry and to get two silver awards is fantastic.'

Attracting 350,000 people each year, Wroxham Barns offers a day out for the whole family, with craft workshops, shops, a children's funfair, an award-winning petting zoo and a caf�.

Byfords, which recently won five stars and a gold award for excellence from the English Tourist Board, offers 16 luxury suites with a North Norfolk theme as well as a caf�, restaurant and deli.

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