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Holidaymakers urged not to go too far

PUBLISHED: 22:02 03 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:54 02 March 2010

BEFORE jetting off on bargain holidays to sun-drenched destinations this summer Suffolk's holidaymakers were today being urged to travel, but not quite so far.

BEFORE jetting off on bargain holidays to sun-drenched destinations this summer Suffolk's holidaymakers were today being urged to travel, but not quite so far.

Environmental campaigners have joined Felixstowe's business community in urging those in search of an escape to consider the Suffolk resort before booking a ticket to one of its overseas counterparts.

In announcing that the south beach at Felixstowe had been awarded one of its annual Blue Flags, the environmental charity Encams said Suffolk families could enjoy a fun, safe holiday in the resort while defending jobs and helping to slash the country's £17 billion tourism deficit.

Alan Woods, the charity's chief executive, said: "There has been a real element of snobbery surrounding our beaches, with some people suggesting they simply don't match up to their continental counterparts.

"Yet this kiss-me-quick view belongs in the past.

"With excellent weather forecast for this summer, this is the ideal time for many families to rediscover the seaside and for our coast to compete on the world stage for visitors."

Felixstowe's south beach joined 118 other locations in being awarded Blue Flags for its clean sands and pollution-free water. As one of 14 across the region to be awarded one of the flags, it also scored points for health and safety provision and disabled access.

The town's business community says a lot of effort has gone into improving facilities and making it a desirable destination for day-trippers and holidaymakers.

Harvey Smith, chairman of the Felixstowe Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said rather than competing with holidays to destinations like the south of France, Felixstowe should be seen as an alternative to a day out shopping at Bluewater or a visit to the beaches at Clacton or Southend.

He said: "Felixstowe is very much a day-tripper's resort.

"We want to concentrate on convincing the people on the other side of Ipswich, in Cambridge and maybe even Peterborough and all over East Anglia, to visit.

"The extra people that come in do tend to help the range of shops we have and to keep our shops open.

"There's an awful lot about at the moment about pollution from aeroplanes - they'd even be doing a little to help the environment."

Weblink: www.blueflag.org


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