December 8 2013 Latest news:
Keith Brown of Visit East Anglia, local tourism champions at the launch of a new 2 for 1 attractions campaign aimed at residents of Essex and North London at Norwich Station with fellow tourism representatives and staff of Greater Anglia aboard the City Sightseeing Bus. Photo: Steve Adams
By richard wheeler
Monday, September 17, 2012
Officials tasked with promoting Norfolk’s £2.6bn-a-year tourism industry hope to encourage more visitors to enjoy the region, despite rival counties possessing “deeper pockets”.
Visit East Anglia has today been revealed as the group now responsible for creating tourism campaigns and championing the county at local, regional and national levels.
The new deal aims to ensure businesses put more effort and investment into supporting Norfolk tourism, while it tries to become less reliant on public sector grants.
Keith Brown, Visit East Anglia managing director, said he wanted to build on steps made by Norfolk Tour-ism Partnership in the past 15 years.
He said: “It’s taking a fresh look at how tourism is supported. It’s very big business, employs a lot of people and it’s a very competitive market place.
“While staycations and the Olympics have been great, the competition for every weekend visitor, day visitor or someone who wants to stay for a longer time is very tough. There are still many other counties that have much deeper pockets than Norfolk.”
Mr Brown said this meant Norfolk had to do things smarter and better than their rivals.
Norfolk County Council and the New Anglia local enterprise partnership (LEP) are jointly providing £200,000 for the project over the next two-and-a-half years, with further contributions from other groups including Visit Norwich and the Broads Authority. But Broadland District Council is not expected to join the new group immediately and will wait to see what it can offer to help the area. The authority paid £7,101 a year to Norfolk Tourism, but could now opt to concentrate on promoting its own tourism sector.
Hamish Melville, head of economic development, said: “We here at Broadland cannot stress how highly we regard our tourism sector and we are determined, in promotional terms, to have the right ‘product’ for our tourism businesses, and of course visitors to the area.”
Mr Melville said Broadland had been part of the discussions of how to develop tourism in Norfolk.
He added: “In the meantime, we will continue to work with our local tourism sector to give them as much support as we are able to promote their businesses and the Broadland tourism offer through our publications, advertising and web presence.”
Norfolk’s tourism industry is estimated to support 51,400 jobs –14.5pc of all employment in the county.
Mark Durrant, chairman of Norfolk Tourism and divisional manager (parks) for Blue Sky Leisure, said: “We are very excited about the opportunity to build on the successes of the past 15 years through working with Visit East Anglia and contributing towards the growth of a sustainable tourism industry.”