Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Poll: Tourism spend in East Anglia grows by 21% as high fuel prices stop people travelling further afield

13:09 01 February 2013

Keith Brown from Visit East Anglia

Keith Brown from Visit East Anglia

THE East of England became one of the fastest-growing tourism areas last year, as price-conscious holidaymakers opted for “value” destinations, a survey has found.

shares

The trend for “staycations” and high fuel prices have been credited with helping the region achieve a 21% rise in tourism spending per trip over the summer – the highest growth across England.

Between July and September, which took in the period of the London Olympics, the region hosted fewer visitors than the previous year, but they spent more and stayed longer.

Keith Brown, chief executive of Visit East Anglia, said he was “delighted” with the figures, which were issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and for the east cover Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

“The report in question is very encouraging and I think that if we continue to offer a high-quality experience at a value-for-money price we stand a very good chance of maintaining our position as one of the fastest growing tourism regions in the country,” he said.

Tourism

In the year to September 2012 we

•Had the largest average length of stay growth in the UK(9.41%)

•Had the highest growth in average spend per trip in the UK (21.71%)

•Had the second highest growth in total tourism expenditure and double the national average(8.77%)

In Suffolk and Norfolk alone, tourism is worth about £4.2billion, although it is still a “Cinderella” sector, said Mr Brown.

“The east, like many regions of the UK, saw a small decline in the number of trips taken in both the quarter and the year to date,” he said.

However, overall, visitors are staying longer and spending more money, he pointed out.

In the quarter to September, the east saw the highest increase in total tourism spending in the UK at 13%, bringing total spend to £652million. Visitors spent an average £205 a trip, still £1 below the England average of £206 a trip.

The east also saw the second highest rise in total bed nights spent here at 12%. However, the number of trips was down by 6%, dropping from 3.4million to 3.2m.

“Like any research, there’s a fair amount of salt to be taken with it, but the trend information is, we think, fairly accurate,” said Mr Brown.

“The picture for the longer term prospects is very good - we are growing faster than most regions.”

He believes the spending growth is partly down to the fact that the east is a “value” area, but is also striving to be a quality one.

“We don’t have premium pricing for hotels for example,” he said. “That’s actually a very good place to be when there’s an economic squeeze. That’s why we think there’s this growth because it’s cheaper to stay here than other parts of the UK.”

Suffolk and Norfolk are both strong in self catering, which is a growth area, he said.

“I think the trend in this latest report is pretty accurate, which bodes well, all things being equal, for a slightly better year than we were anticipating,” he said.

“We are close to a lot of people and people are paying attention to what they are spending and getting. Driving five or six hours is not an option for a lot of people and staying somewhere closer to home would support those figures. That will continue to be the case as fuel prices continue to rise.”

Visit Suffolk will be hoping to capitalise on the spending growth with the launch of its controversial “Curious County” digital marketing campaign in London on February 12. Critics of the campaign believe it is potentially demeaning to the county, but tourism bosses have continued to stand by it, believing that it will help reach bring the county to the attention of new audiences.

Spokeswoman for Visit Essex Eli Constantatou said: “The whole staycation movement has helped motivate people to stay at home and generate pride in your own area which is fantastic. We are also working with our Olympic ambassadors to continue promoting areas closer to home.

“The summer weather hasn’t been great but from figures we have collected so far there we have also seen an increase in the visitor numbers to the various attractions in Essex.

“Usually during Olympics we would expect to see a drop in numbers of visitors to areas near where they are taking place. People stay away because of the crowds and higher prices, so this is very positive news for us and the whole region.”

shares

1 comment

  • Suggest statistically impossible to produce such an exact percentage as 21%. The same for 21.71 and 8.77. Must use a very good slide rule!

    Report this comment

    JOHN BURLS

    Friday, February 1, 2013

Mick McCarthy, Manager of Ipswich Town shouts instructions Bristol City v Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he is as frustrated and agitated as supporters after this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat at relegation-battling Bristol City made it four losses from five games in all competitions.

The Belstead House in Pinweood, Ipswich.

Frustrated councillors who object to plans to build 155 homes in their parish are threatening legal action against planners.

Former Met police officer Colin Sutton with his dog Jasper

Many might describe Colin Sutton as a ‘proper copper’ - the sort with blue blood running through his family’s veins.

Eddie the Eagle movie starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman

It’s the ultimate underdog story – and one of Suffolk’s most famous sons has lent his songwriting skills to its big screen dramatisation.

A file  picture of the A14.

A man was taken to hospital after he came off the motorcycle he was riding.

Ellen and her family

There is a nasty rumour going round the playground, writes Ellen Widdup.

A file picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters were called to a home in Springfield Road in the early hours.

Tim Passmore has vowed to tackle FGM

Police in Suffolk have said tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and sexual abuse is a key priority, and have vowed to take a “zero tolerance” approach to the issue.

Fun at Sutton Hoo this half-term

For more days out suggestions, see our packed Event guide in the paper every Friday or check out @WhatsonWayne on Twitter.

Sleepless in Seattle

Instead of splashing out on an expensive meal this Valentine’s, why not have a romantic night in watching a themed film?

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24