AS I write this, I’m thinking about a ‘do’ I’m off to this evening in Bury St Edmunds. The Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards 2018.
Apart from the usual uncertainties about what to wear and where to park, I’m hugely looking forward to this event. It’s the first time in a while that Archant (the publishers of this magazine) have been able to recognise the tourism industry in this way. I’ve banged on in the past about the importance of the tourism industry to our our county’s economic wellbeing, but i don’t think it can be over estimated or, dare I say it, over hyped.
Tourism is worth nearly £2 billion to Suffolk and generates almost 40,000 full and part time tourismrelated jobs, more than 12% of all employment in the county. This is good news, especially for young people making career choices. Tourism offers a tremendous variety of opportunities in all sorts of disciplines, from hospitality and catering, to creative arts, retail, sales and marketing.
‘It’s the job of Suffolk magazine to celebrate and champion the many facets of the county. I look forward to being able to feature some of the tourism award winners in future’
So, I’m very pleased that we’re able to share in the success of some of the individuals and businesses that make Suffolk’s offer to visitors so vibrant, variend and, well, different. Because Suffolk really does have some special qualities (but then, I’m biased!). It’s the job of Suffolk magazine to celebrate and champion the many facets of the county, and I look forward to being able to feature some of the tourism award winners in future issues. I can’t name them here, because they’re still under wraps, but I congratulate them all.
My rant last month about the problem of litter, in all its ghastly guises, drew quite a response from some of you who, it appears, agree wholeheartedly that something has to be done, and made some suggestions. Bringing back the stocks for those caught in the act wasn’t one of them, but there is definitely support for a campaign to clean up our act. Anyone want to lead it? I’ll certainly be at the next beach clean-up in Felixstowe, so why not look for a similar opportunity in your own neighbourhood?
Finally, a gentle nudge about the EAT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards, which take place at Wherstead Park on April 30. The deadline for nominations is fast approaching so do go to the website at www.suffolkfada.co.uk and nominate your favourite chef, restaurant, cafe, producer, farm shop – in fact anyone you feel needs to be rewarded for their hard work, passion and flair. It’s a simple process to nominate and you have until March 4. After that, it’s over to the judges.
Have a lovely March – spring is in the air!
Gregg Brown’s lovely photo of a host of golden daffs in Nowton Park