New tourism campaign aims to bring a million pounds a week to Ipswich
Ipswich’s first-ever major tourism strategy is being launched with the aim of bringing an extra £1m a week in spending power to the town.
Ipswich Central – the company set up to run the town centre – is to develop a new initiative aimed at tapping into the town’s potential for tourism.
It is to set up a Destination Management Organisation (DMO) with industry partners to lead the promotion of the town as a tourist destination.
A report by multinational business consultants Aecom has estimated that attracting more day visitors and tourists could be worth as much as £48m to the local economy on an annual basis – nearly £1m a week.
Ipswich Central, which represents 625 businesses commissioned the research which also showed that, in central Ipswich alone, there is potential to increase day visits by 680,000 a year and overnight stays by a further 26,000.
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Ipswich Central’s Chairman, Terry Baxter, said: “The research findings are very clear. Ipswich has the potential to become a destination in its own right but has often underachieved.
“Aecom have helped us develop a business plan and we have formed the DMO Company with Alex Paul, Director of Sales and Marketing at Gough Hotels its Chair; and the Ipswich Hoteliers Group have committed to working with us”.
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Mr Paul, Chair of the DMO Company for Ipswich added: “This is a great step forward in releasing the potential of Ipswich as a visitor destination as well as a Gateway to the whole of Suffolk.”
He said the town could be attractive to the short-break market and also as a launch-pad for tourists seeking to explore Suffolk’s coast and countryside.
The borough and county councils have also been involved in discussions about setting up the new DMO – although it will remain a private-sector initiative.
The first meeting of the new organisation is due to take place in September and one of the first decisions will be to establish an identity for the new body.
It will work closely with Ipswich Central and the “All About Ipswich” brand in a bid to attract visitors from a wider area to events in the town.
Ipswich’s tourism potential is underpinned by its history and its claim to be the first town established by the Anglo-Saxons in this country – it is the first English town.
Added to the attractions of the historic town centre and Christchurch Park and mansion, there is also the growing Waterfront area with its cafes, pubs and restaurants that is able to attract visitors.