Howletts Wild Animal Park and Port Lympne Reserve were awarded Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year by KEiBA officials at a glittering awards ceremony held at the Kent Event Centre, Kent Showground in Detling on Thursday 25th June.
The KEiBA awards, now in their seventh year, were staged and produced by Kent County Council and The KM Group to celebrate the cream of Kent enterprise. Thirteen businesses and individuals were selected as category winners, after a tough judging process whittled down hundreds of entries to just 46 finalists.
Managing Director of Howletts and Port Lympne, Bob O’Connor said: ‘I am absolutely delighted that HowlettsWild Animal Park and Port Lympne Reserve, have been awarded Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year byKEiBA. It’s a testament to all of our hard working staff who endeavour to make the parks a wonderful experience for our visitors.’
Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury, recently awarded a certificate of excellence by TripAdvisor and inducted into the TripAdvisor hall of fame, houses some of the most rare and endangered species in the world in 90 acres of beautiful parkland. Highlights include the largest herd of African elephants in the UK and the world’s largest captive group of western lowland gorillas.
Port Lympne Reserve near Ashford is one of the largest wild animal parks in the UK, famous for its wide open spaces and stunning views across the Kent coastline to France. Port Lympne is home to The African Experience safari, 100 acres of Kentish Savannah alive with African wildlife such as giraffe, ostrich, black rhino, wildebeest, zebra and many others. The reserve is fast on it’s way to becoming Europe’s first animal focused holiday destination and, with the imminent launch of their latest luxury accommodation – the Treehouse Hotel, offers six unique overnight stays, including the multi award winning Livingstone Lodge overnight safari experience.
The category for Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year was sponsored by Southeastern and winners were presented with a specially created glass trophy, designed by a renowned Kent artist – Annie Ross. KEiBA hope that the awards will boost staff morale and help winning businesses raise their profile in the county.
Mark Dance, cabinet member for economic development at Kent County Council, said: ‘As ever the standard of entries was extraordinary and selecting the 46 finalists was a very tough task – it just shows you the calibre of the businesses we have in Kent. I’d like to congratulate everyone who entered and those that won.’