Philip Turner, founder of hospitality group Chestnut, won the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award, sponsored by Hoseasons, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2022-2023.
Philip has become one of the region’s leading tourism figures over the past decade – thanks to his energy and passion for the industry and its people.
Since leaving a very successful career in banking and buying his first pub in 2012, he has driven the growth of Chestnut to become one of the region’s leading independent hospitality groups, with 16 pubs and inns across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.
The judges attributed this success to Philip’s entrepreneurial approach and how he has put people at the heart of his business – not just within the company, but also from the wider community.
Examples include the development of the Chestnut Academy, a training programme designed to upskill the team and develop future business leaders, as well as the decision to close pubs on Christmas Day to give staff time off with their families.
In the wider community, Chestnut launched the Giving Tree in April 2020, partly in response to the impact of Covid-19 on local people. It delivered 25,000 meals to the NHS, hospices and care homes during the height of the pandemic.
The support has continued since then, with over £100,000 raised for local charities including Norfolk and Suffolk Community Foundations and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
Philip has also become a leading spokesperson for British hospitality, championing industry issues affecting the region’s businesses at a national level.
“I am incredibly honoured to have received this award,” said Philip. “Over the last 10 years, I have been fortunate to work with some very talented and passionate people, who have helped me to develop the business and understand the role we can play in helping to support and enhance the region’s tourism economy.
"We have all worked very hard to ensure that Chestnut sits at the heart of our of community and since the inception of Chestnut we have employed over 5,000 people across the region.
“From supporting training and development in the hospitality sector to investing millions in our pubs and inns and raising over £100,000 to support local charities and initiatives, we always put people at the forefront of our strategy for growth.
“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has had a part to play in helping me to win this award, and look forward to many more years supporting the region’s national reputation for outstanding tourism.”
About the sponsor
Hoseasons is one of the UK’s leading self-catering accommodation specialists, with more than 29,000 places to stay in coastal and countryside settings throughout Britain.
From lodges and parks, to boats, cottages and apartments, the brand offers the widest available range of self-catering holidays in the UK.
Hoseasons accommodates more than 1.7 million holidaymakers and more than 121,000 pets every year and is part of Awaze - Europe’s leading managed vacation rentals and holiday resorts business.