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Drusillas Park Picks Up Award Hat Trick

Popular visitor attraction, Drusillas Park scooped their third accolade in less than three months at the Sussex Life Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards last night.

At a ceremony held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, the Sussex zoo fought off stiff competition from Arundel Castle and RSPB Pulborough Brooks Nature Reserve, to be named Visitor Attraction of the Year 2014.

The Awards celebrated outstanding food and hospitality businesses throughout Sussex and all the finalists had been nominated by the public. A total of 14 categories were up for grabs ranging from Newcomer of the Year to Sussex Tourism Ambassador.

Drusillas Park’s Managing Director, Laurence Smith commented: “After a tough couple of years proceeded by this year being one of the busiest years on record (following the success of Hello Kitty Secret Garden) it's fantastic for all our staff to get such prestigious recognition; a real pat on the back for everyone at Drusillas.”

This success closely follows the zoo’s earlier triumph at the Business Matters Awards in July. Here Drusillas Park took home the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure accolade for the Sussex region, before going on to scoop the overall category for the South in September.

Director, Christine Smith added: “Winning one award is an honour but achieving three is really superb. It’s a real testament to the whole workforce, whether that’s serving our visitors on the frontline or behind the scenes. We are truly delighted.”

Laurence and Christine Smith acquired the award winning zoo in 1997 after selling a nationwide recruitment business. The husband and wife team have invested heavily in Drusillas over the last seventeen years, securing a deal with HIT Entertainment to bring Thomas the Tank Engine to the Park in 2007 and Sanrio in 2014 to open the first Hello Kitty attraction in Europe.

The Park is now a true family run business with eldest daughter Cassandra working at the zoo since 2005, alongside her sister Caroline who joined the company in 2010. Next year Drusillas will celebrate their 90 year anniversary and the Smiths have a great deal planned to mark the auspicious occasion. 

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