Best Attraction in the South East

22 Oct

Drusillas Park has been named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence.

The annual awards, organised by Tourism South East, are now in their 20th year. They recognise exceptional levels of customer service and dedication to raising industry standards in tourism businesses throughout the whole of Sussex, Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

A record number of entries to the Awards this year led to an impressive shortlist of finalists, with Drusillas Park going head to head in the category against Blenheim Palace, Leeds Castle, Beaulieu and Ashmolean.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner, held on Thursday 21st October at Mercedes-Benz World. Guest host Nicholas Owen presented the awards alongside Tourism South East Chairman, John Williams and entertainment was provided during the evening by Tenors Un Limited.

Mike Bedingfield, Chief Executive of Tourism South East commented: ‘We offer our congratulations to all the winners. Our industry’s commitment to providing the best possible customer service and to exceeding customer expectations is outstanding. The award winners have shown that they are truly the best-in-class and we look forward to seeing them on the national stage at the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence next April.’

Laurence and Christine Smith acquired award winning Drusillas Park in 1997 after selling a nationwide recruitment business. The husband and wife team have invested heavily in the zoo over the last thirteen years, securing a deal with HIT Entertainment to bring Thomas the Tank Engine to the Park and consistently introducing new animals and attractions. Drusillas is now a true family run business with eldest daughter Cassandra working at the zoo since 2005, alongside Caroline Smith who joined the company last year.

Managing Director Laurence Smith commented: “We are absolutely delighted; ours is a competitive industry and it is a real honour that our attraction has been judged as best-in-class for the South East. We reached the finalist stages in 2009 but just missed out on the top spot on the night. It feels really great to be bringing home the gold this year.”

One Response to “Best Attraction in the South East”


  1. Large Egyptian Grasshopper Found in Salad « - November 25, 2010

    […] by a member of the public who had discovered a large insect in a bag of salad and wondered whether Drusillas could provide the unusual foreigner with a suitable […]

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