Tourism chiefs work together to drive up visitor numbers across region

PUBLISHED: 10:58 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:58 07 February 2020

Southwold beach huts and pier  Picture: DAVID ANDREWS

Southwold beach huts and pier Picture: DAVID ANDREWS


Tourist chiefs in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire are hoping to capitalise on a predicted 8% rise in overseas visitors choosing to take holidays in the UK.

Multi-coloured houses in Lavenham  Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKMulti-coloured houses in Lavenham Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

Visit Britain has projected that inbound tourism - visits by non-residents of the UK - will grow significantly. This could have a knock-on effect for an industry worth more than £6bn to the regional economy, a conference in Ipswich has heard.

Tourism body Visit Essex estimates county tourism is worth £3.4bn to the county, Visit Suffolk estimates a value of £2bn and Visit Cambridge £850m, and local tourism chiefs believe now is a great time for businesses, attractions and tourism bodies to collaborate in attracting tourists to the region.

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Industry experts and visitor attractions from the East of England shared future strategies and opportunities for promoting Cambridge, Essex and Suffolk at an event hosted by Visit Ipswich and accountants MHA Larking Gowen at Suffolk Food Hall on Thursday, February 6.

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Jack Cripps of Visit Ipswich, said: "Tourism is a significant industry in our region and it was brilliant to come together today as tourism bodies, place-shapers, local businesses and tourist attractions to share our ideas and create new ways of working together."

Presentations covered The Hold, a new hi-tech heritage archive centre opening soon on Ipswich waterfront, the upcoming Tourism Sector Deal - the government's new strategy for tourism - and future tourism strategies from Visit Cambridge, Visit Essex, Visit Suffolk Tourism.

Tourism bodies at the event explained how they wanted to drive more visitors and more spend to the East of England.

Emma Thornton of Visit Cambridge said: "This is a great event for discovering new ways of collaborating with partners beyond our regions. We look to an exciting future."

Paul Clement, Ipswich Central, opening the conference  Picture: IPSWICH CENTRALPaul Clement, Ipswich Central, opening the conference Picture: IPSWICH CENTRAL

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