Drusillas are proud to announce they have been selected as finalists for not one, not two, but three awards in The Beautiful South Tourism Awards – including a personal recognition for their head zookeeper of 10 years.

Finalists were selected by a panel of expert judges, and the winners of each category are to be announced during a glittering ceremony at The Grand Hotel in Brighton on 13th December.

Drusillas has been confirmed as a finalist in three categories; Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award, and a personal nomination for Gemma Romanis, nominated under the ‘Unsung Hero’ category.

Managing Director, Cassie Poland, commented on the news: “We are over the moon to learn we have been nominated for three awards, it would have been wonderful to be in the running for just one so this has really surprised us!”

Cassie continued: “It particularly means a lot to be recognised for the first time for our efforts in creating a more accessible and inclusive attraction, as it’s something that we’ve worked very hard on in recent years and continue to learn and improve upon – we want Drusillas to be a safe, comfortable, and welcoming place for everyone. We are among a stellar line up of visitor attractions in the running and we want to congratulate them all for representing our industry so well, and wish them all good luck!”

Earlier this year Drusillas introduced SEND-only sessions in their new state-of-the-art sensory attraction, SPARK – the UK’s largest immersive play experience.

Nominated for Unsung Hero, largely due to the role she played in keeping the zoo running and animals cared for during the pandemic, recent storms and power cut emergencies, head keeper Gemma Romanis said: “The phrase ‘unsung hero’ isn’t a phrase I expected to hear against my name – I’m no hero, I’m just me and I’m passionate about my job and about Drusillas as a whole. I’m bewildered to have been nominated as an unsung hero, but of course I feel incredibly honoured. It’s given me an overwhelming sense of achievement and I will continue to strive to be the best I can be. Thank you to Drusillas for nominating me, I can’t quite believe it!”

The entrants were shortlisted and independently judged. Tourism South East revealed 64 finalists, and 7 businesses also recognised with commended certificates. All will be welcomed to the prestigious Grand Brighton on 13 December 2022, where they will learn whether they are celebrating a gold, silver or bronze award.

Fran Downton, Chief Executive of Tourism South East, said “Congratulations to all our finalists. The Beautiful South Awards is a fantastic opportunity, showcasing the very best that the region has to offer. I wish them all the very best of luck and look forward to celebrating with them all.”

You can see the full line up of finalists for all categories here https://www.beautifulsouthawards.co.uk/finalist-and-commended-202223

Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information please telephone 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk