From the blog

Let’s Take Renewed Pride In Our County

20th May 2014

Figures released in the last few days have revealed that Suffolk is enjoying a significant resurgence as a place to visit.

According to figures released by Visit East Anglia, impotent 57% of tourism-related businesses in our County saw an increase in visitor numbers in the first 3 months of this year. 44% of those businesses have seen an increase in bookings through until June. It bodes well for a busy summer season.

What this demonstrates is that, cheap with the worst of the recession now, hopefully, behind us, and consumers becoming more willing to spend money on luxuries such as weekends away and day trips, Suffolk is tremendously well positioned to gain from it. In turn, all of our town centres benefit from the County-wide visitor trend.

An hour from London, 50 minutes from Stansted and so Europe, amazing countryside, fantastic beaches, historically important sites and buildings, a diverse cultural mix – no wonder visitors love our County.

However, the research did fire one noticeable warning shot. A key finding was that tourism business requires more investment in the offering including, in particular, better marketing. The fear is that, without this, other areas will gain pace and catch up with us quickly.

We all have our part to play in this in our own locations. Suffolk is a key selling point for us all and we need to use it in our own marketing to reinforce the message.

Having read the reports, I have been prompted to think about what more my own organisation can do to help promote Ipswich as part of a wider Suffolk offering. We will come forward with plans in the very near future.

I am sure that every other town and village has been thinking the same thing. And, if we can all play our part, I am sure that visitor numbers can be increased still further.

Tourism brings with it jobs, skills and consumer spend. It is worth millions of pounds to our County and we can all take our share of it. We ignore it at our peril.