Boom in hotel bookings proves Norwich is the place to be
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Hotels in Norwich are chock-a-block as people flock to the city for mini-breaks.
October is a similar picture to September for hoteliers with people keen to make the most of what is on offer in Norwich.
St Giles House Hotel in the city centre is among the places to see an influx of guests with only one single room currently available.
General manager Liza Dunnell said the hotel is booked up until the end of the year with many people keen for staycations.
"We are getting up to pre-pandemic levels," she said.
"After restrictions everyone now wants to go out and have some normality after being locked up for so long."
Dunston Hall has also seen an "exceptionally busy few months" with October continuing the theme.
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General manager David Graham said the length of stay has increased from an average of 1.8 days to 2.8 days which he says shows the limitations on international travel.
Mr Graham added: "We have benefited from midweek golf breaks because of the unavailability to travel to Portugal and Spain as there are less flights.
"There is still a lot of pent up demand following the lockdown for leisure based travel."
Clive Harvey runs the grade-II listed Gothic House bed and breakfast just off Magdalen Street by himself.
Mr Harvey only had three days off throughout September and has seen people visit from across the UK, as well as one couple from America.
He said: "I am amazed at the quantity of bookings. I do not generally take passing trade but I have found over the last month that a lot of people are wanting to stay tonight or tomorrow.
"I have been monumentally busy and this month seems equally as busy as September."
Stefan Gurney, executive director for Norwich Business Improvement District [BID] said city footfall is down overall compared to pre-pandemic levels due to hybrid working and fewer people in the office.
But he said visitor numbers are increasing with the Visit Norwich website up 30pc from September 2019.
Mr Gurney said: "It's very positive for the city because people are spending more in the wider economy, not just in hotels."
A popular destination to be proud of
Norwich BID has found the Fine City is in the top five markets for most visited cities, coming fourth on the list behind coastal destinations like Brighton.
And Chris Scargill, tourism and leisure specialist for Larking Gowen, said Norwich and Norfolk are proving popular destinations with visitors keen to enjoy the outdoors after the lockdowns.
Mr Scargill said: "We are very lucky Norwich is a central location and people use it as a hub to go to north and east Norfolk, the Broads or the Brecks.
"One of the trends post-pandemic is that people are keen for fresh air and Norfolk offers spaces for that. People see that as an attraction."
He also believes Dippy the Dinosaur at Norwich Cathedral was key in bringing extra people into the city.