CEO of Twycross Zoo announced as finalist.
Leicester and Leicestershire residents can support their local tourism hero as the closing date for voting approaches for the national Tourism Superstar competition.
Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE, CEO of Twycross Zoo is representing Leicestershire in the finals of VisitEngland's highly prized Tourism Superstar competition.
The annual award, supported by the Daily Mirror, recognises the passion and hard work of English tourism industry workers, and celebrates those who go the extra mile to ensure that tourists in England have an amazing and unforgettable visitor experience.
The winner of Tourism Superstar 2022 will be decided by a public vote, open until midnight on 22 March, and will be announced in The Mirror newspaper on 26 March 2022. People can vote for Sharon by clicking here.
Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE, CEO of Twycross Zoo said: “I am so proud to join the finalists of the Tourism Superstar Award.
“Throughout the pandemic, leading both the zoo and Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), I witnessed the variety of challenges across a broad range of industries that our region’s leaders faced.
"Frankly, everyone who reacted and adapted throughout the coronavirus outbreak deserves an award!
“There has never been a more exciting or critical time for Twycross Zoo to deliver our vision of educating and inspiring people to care about and save the other species with which we share our planet.
"Over the last decade we have proven that our charity, based in the heart of the UK, can be a leading voice in conservation, science and education.
"Already recognised globally as the ‘World Primate Centre’, and as one of the only zoos in the world to house all four great apes, the foundations have been laid.
“I continue to be ambitious for Twycross Zoo and our region. Together, with the support of our visitors, we can make a significant contribution to the global conservation of animals from right here in Leicestershire.”
Leicestershire was one of the hardest hit areas during the height of the pandemic, putting additional pressure on local businesses.
Sharon, however, showed tremendous resilience. Not only in maintaining an outdoor destination for many during this time with very little government support, but also by developing a supportive network for others within the tourism and hospitality sector.
At a local level, Sharon provided leadership and guidance on coping with government regulations and reopening restrictions to local SMEs.
On a wider scale, she hosted weekly video calls with a large charity zoo group for peer support. In addition, she was instrumental in raising awareness of the UK animal welfare crisis during the pandemic and urging Government to establish the £100m fund for the zoo sector.
Sharon’s unshakable commitment also helped to secure £450k in public donations, which enabled Twycross to care for its animals throughout the pandemic and assured the future of the zoo.
The Tourism Superstar nomination is part of Leicester and Leicestershire’s major ‘Uncover the Story’ tourism campaign that is promoting the city and county as a fascinating UK destination for national and international visitors.
Uncover the Story uses a range of intriguing stories to promote the city and county as a compelling and distinctive destination to visitors.
Written by Emily Miller
Emily is a Senior Journalist for Niche Magazine with over a decade of journalism experience. She enjoys going to gigs, visiting galleries and walking in all weathers.