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Call on Norfolk MPs to fight for tourism

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 August 2014

Local MPs meet tourism leaders at the Theatre Royal in Norwich to hear the industry's concerns Photo: Bill Smith

Local MPs meet tourism leaders at the Theatre Royal in Norwich to hear the industry's concerns Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

MPs can play a vital role in the further development of Norfolk’s £2.8bn tourism industry by leading the campaign for road and rail improvements.

That was the key message that came out of a meeting yesterday between tourism leaders and four of the county’s MPs - Norman Lamb, Chloe Smith, Simon Wright and Keith Simpson - at the Theatre Royal in Norwich.

The meeting was called in the wake of this year’s Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Business Survey (TBS), compiled by Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants, which revealed that 60pc of tourism businesses felt no political party was supportive of the sector.

North Norfolk MP Mr Lamb said access to Norfolk was “critically important” for tourism growth.

While the coalition had delivered A11 dualling, other road improvements and better rail links still needed to be looked at.

He said MPs could play their part alongside “brilliant sector led initiatives” such as Visit Norfolk which had emerged to fill the gap after the loss of public sector funding.

Norwich MP Miss Smith said the TBS had highlighted some mixed messaged; while a number of people wanted more government support to the tourism industry, others were demanding tax cuts.

She said: “The completion of A11 dualling will be really important for tourism from the autumn onwards but it is absolutely vital that we work together on improving other elements of the transport network, the rail campaign which I lead, the A47 and the NDR.

“People who come to Norfolk for tourism can play a really important role themselves by joining the campaign for better transport here.”

Another crucial issue on which MPs were briefed is the skills shortage in certain tourism-related jobs.

Miss Smith said: “As the leader of Norwich for Jobs I would encourage young people to take up exciting roles in tourism.

“We have been told there are roles in IT and marketing available now and tourism businesses are recruiting for them.”

Richard Ellis, chairman of Visit East Anglia, said it was important that Norfolk’s MPs worked closely together on tourism issues, “hunting as a pack” for the benefit of the county.

Visit Norfolk brand manager Pete Waters said it was vital MPs recognised the full importance of tourism to the county’s economy, supporting 54,000 jobs.

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  • @Ingo - what disguises? Are they hiding? Thank goodness our cycling neighbours don't swamp us. We've got enough home grown lycra louts of our own clogging (no pun) up the roads..

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    Andy T

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • Ingo, I have to disagree with your A11 widening views, and point. It was a necessary benefit,that I would not begrudge users. Tourists are one of the life bloods of Norfolk. The A11 wideningt is likely to leadl to increased road safety. I never aspire to being anti road, but wise transport choices. Im anti NDR as it does not stack up cost ben wise, and Jackson has jumped ship anyway. Saying that I have only taken one air journey to Iceland in the last 10 years, and 3 road jouneys outside Norfolk in the last decade. I dont live on ceromony or being pedantic. You might not expect someone to walk or cycle from outside Norfolk, rail or bus aren,t always flexible enough. Certainly we should be encouraging folk to cycle short, frequent and local journeys; and more so lose a few pounds weight by doing so! re MPs- most voters elected them- if unhappy write , meetnand use your MP, if still unhappy get out next year and vote for another MP or lead a noticeable campaign, otherwise stop whinging in the wind, its sad, it results in no change.

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    Rob Whittle

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Not surprised to see George Freeman absent. In 2012 wrote to him expressing concern about the effect on tourism of the huge new powers the Tories were handing to parking sharks. I got back a very snotty response to the effect that the parking industry is honest and fair. That’s the same parking industry that has just been shown to be targeting tourists, older people and cancer patients “because they always pay up.”

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    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • So they all want long hour, low wage, slave labour jobs do they ?. That tells us the esteem in which these MP's hold the public. No sign of B. Lewis in the picture ?

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    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Bring out a camera and they will come. These MPs do love to appear interested in the region before they disappear back to London for the fun and games.Oh and the very cheap,highly subsidised ,food and drink.

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    norman hall

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Skills shortage!????.....try paying more than the NMW and you might find people want to acquire these "skills".

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    marty r

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • three blinkered politicians who fail to see that tourists come in all sorts of disguises and have needs to boot. They collectively failed to introduce a fastes ferry service to the continent from Norfolk,ignoring our cycle mad neighbours. Instead they are hoping that car drivers will vote for them due to their early released cheesegrater section on the A 11. Never, in the history of road building, has a little stretch of dualling served so many electoral causes....

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • "Road improvements and better rail links still needed to be looked at" - and that is about the sum of what will be done, ie they will be looked at. As usual, absolutely nothing will be done!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

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