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Monkey Haven on the outskirts of Newport has won a top tourism award from VisitEngland for providing ‘outstanding experiences’ for visitors.

The dedicated team at the fast-growing attraction have scooped the ‘Best Told Story Accolade 2018’ in the annual Visitor Attraction Accolades. This award is very sought after and given to attractions or tours that tell their story effectively, and offer an interesting and entertaining experience.

Monkey Haven is the only attraction on the Island to win an award for 2018. This follows their recent assessment as part of VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme, where the attraction scored 90%.

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The judges considered every aspect of Monkey Haven’s ‘story telling’. One of the key ways that they communicate with visitors is through the wonderful Keeper talks, which tell people all about the rescued animals, their unique personalities and how they came to be on the Isle of Wight. Keepers work extremely hard to give interesting, fun and interactive talks throughout the day.

Striking signage, a website, app, brochures and leaflets were also taken into account by judges.

Don Walser, Monkey Haven’s Founder, commented:

“This accolade recognises all the hard work we put in creating the best possible experience for animals and visitors. I’m so proud of the team and grateful to everyone who has supported us.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride creating the Haven, and an achievement we are all immensely proud of. Fourteen years ago, all we had was a muddy field and a mission. We spent years battling against the odds, to fulfil our vision of setting up an animal sanctuary on the Isle of Wight. People thought we were mad, and maybe we were, but luckily lots of amazing people shared our vision – and look at us now!”

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Will Myles, Managing Director at Visit Isle of Wight, has congratulated the team by saying:

“The Best Told Story accolade from VisitEngland is another great award for Monkey Haven and well deserved! Their continuing work as a sanctuary for rescued primates, as well as a top destination on the Isle of Wight, is a great example of how hard work, dedication and passion can make all the difference.

“As well as winning VisitEngland’s Small Visitor Attraction 2017, they’ve got a VisitEngland Gold, a Beautiful South Gold and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, so their professionalism is clearly reaping the rewards. Well done to the whole team”.

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