Culture secretary Maria Miller has said flood-hit holiday spots like Norfolk must be given support so they can remain attractive tourism destinations.

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In a House of Commons debate she claimed tourism was a vital part of the economy.

She made the comments after she was told by North-West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham the Department for Culture, Media and Sport should liaise and work with local authorities.

The culture secretary told Mr Bellingham that £137m had been invested on an international tourism campaign, adding: “We need to also make sure that constituencies like his that have been hit by the recent problematic weather receive support so they can continue to be attractive tourist destinations.”

The boss of the Environment Agency suggested last week that flood defences in Brancaster, Blakeney and Salthouse may not be repaired following the tidal surges at the beginning of December, which could have implications for the nature reserves which attract thousands of tourists to the region each year.

Chris Starkie, managing director of the New Anglia local enterprise partnership said that they had been in touch with the government body so they could understand their plans and the impact they believed it might have on the area.

He also questioned how much the international campaign had specifically helped Norfolk and Suffolk.

But said the Lep had given cash to both Visit Norfolk and Visit Suffolk to help with a spring marketing campaign.

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