Buzby came top in a public vote run by the national tourist board in partnership with the Daily Mirror designed to recognise the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have a priceless experience.
All ten shortlisted candidates were featured in a short film on the Daily Mirror website, with the public voting online for the one they thought deserved to be crowned Tourism Superstar 2014. Over 15,500 votes were generated in total this year - a record since the competition started.
Buzby, who was nominated for Tourism Superstar 2014 by VisitNorwich, works as an on-resort entertainer and member of the resident comedy team at Potter’s Resort, and has been with the five-star resort in Hopton-on-Sea for over 20 years. He is ever present on resort whether that’s coaching football, umpiring a curling match or simply making guests smile. His managers say that without Buz the resort would not be the same.
Commenting on his success, Buzby said: “Outrageously, fantastically, brilliant - it was the guests of Potters Resort and the people of Norfolk that won this for me. I’m so proud to be part of Norfolk having met so many amazing people on my journey to winning this award.”
Brian Potter MBE, Chairman of Potters Resort said: “The resort just wouldn’t be the same without Buz and on behalf of the Potter family, the team and our guests – congratulations and keep up the good work!”
Chairman of English Tourism Week David Curtis-Brignell said: “Huge congratulations to Buzby, a very worthy winner who we know will wear the Tourism Superstar 2014 badge with pride. Tourism Superstar seeks to recognise the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have a priceless experience. As VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2014, Buzby is a shining example to others striving to achieve excellence in customer service, and a credit to Potters Resort and to Norfolk.”
Minister for Tourism Helen Grant said: “Buzby’s commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to go beyond the call of duty has seen him crowned VisitEngland’s tourism Superstar for 2014. English Tourism Week is showcasing all the very best visitor experiences on offer in England and is a chance to celebrate the hugely talented people working in the tourism industry. Many congratulations to Buzby and to all those who made the final shortlist.”
Ade Andrews of The Robin Hood Town Tour in Nottingham was a worthy runner-up in second place. Ade lives and breathes Nottingham’s most famous outlaw through his own creation, The Robin Hood Town Tour. Ade was nominated by Experience Nottinghamshire and described as an amazing tour guide whose passion for Robin Hood is infectious. He is passionate about Nottingham and is actively involved in projects across the city from cultural regeneration initiatives to organising tree planting days in Sherwood Pines Forest for city schools.
The Tourism Superstar accolade was launched in 2012 as part of English Tourism Week. Last year’s winner was Claire Preece – Hospitality Manager at Kents Cavern, the award-winning prehistoric cave attraction in Torquay, Devon.
Buzby and Ade will be invited to attend VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence held in May this year where the Awards will be presented to them in person, and where a gathered audience from across the whole of the tourism industry can recognise the contribution frontline staff makes to tourism across England.
English Tourism Week 2014 is designed to promote the value of the tourism industry at a national and local level. The week (29th March – 6th April) will see hundreds of attractions, hotels and other tourism businesses across England putting on special events, promotions and competitions to encourage more visitors through their doors, and inspire people to become tourism ambassadors for their local area.