The News Business Excellence Awards: Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism

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IT is a world-class visitor attraction which has pulled in hundreds of thousands of visitors.

And the trust that runs the Mary Rose Museum is celebrating after being recognised for all of its hard work.

DESTINATION The Mary Rose Trust, the winners of the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism award

DESTINATION The Mary Rose Trust, the winners of the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism award

The Mary Rose Trust picked up the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism gong for all it has done to attract visitors far and wide since the museum opened its doors to the world in May 2013.

So far, an incredible 771,000 people have come to see the Mary Rose at its new £27m home at the dockyard – 140,000 more than the trust had expected.

Paul Griffith, head of operations, said the operation of the museum is in a much-improved position from when it was at its former base.

‘It’s a different league in terms of how far we have come,’ he said.

‘This is a world-class, state-of-the-art facility, and visitors expect a world-class experience.

‘It’s a huge operation.

‘Just running the museum itself is a seven day a week operation and some of us are on call 24 hours a day.

Paul added: ‘We have won a few awards since we opened and we haven’t taken any of them for granted.

‘To pick up an award from the city is just fantastic, and I was so incredibly proud on the awards night, and to be recognised by our business peers was just fantastic.’

‘The Mary Rose was built here, she sank here and more than 500 men died, many of whom were from Portsmouth.

‘We consider ourselves to be a real part of the city.’

The section of the museum where visitors can see Henry VIII’s Tudor warship will be closed from October so the walls blocking access can come down.

It is the next stage in the conversion of the ship as work is done to dry her out.

It will reopen in late spring and visitors will then have an unrestricted view.