Tourist spending rise in Suffolk coastal
SPENDING by visitors to the Suffolk coastal area has risen by 20 per cent in three years, according to a new report out today.Experts calculate more than £170 million is brought in to the economy of the district – the tills of its shops, accommodation providers, restaurants and attractions – from holidaymakers and daytrippers.
SPENDING by visitors to the Suffolk Coastal area has risen by 20 per cent in three years, according to a new report out today.
Experts calculate more than £170 million is brought in to the economy of the district - the tills of its shops, accommodation providers, restaurants and attractions - from holidaymakers and daytrippers.
Tourism is also reckoned to provide the equivalent of 3,952 full-time jobs - a combination of full-time, part-time and seasonal workers.
The new figures have been released in a report by Suffolk Coastal council cabinet member John Perry on the importance of tourism to the district.
"Tourism is recognised as being one of the five largest industries within the UK, and an area of growth for the economy. This importance is reflected in the district," said Mr Perry.
"In 2000 the overall value of tourism to Suffolk Coastal was estimated at £142.5 million.
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"We now know that in 2003 the value of tourism to the local economy had risen to £170.5m."
While the traditional two-week bucket and spade seaside holiday has virtually vanished and resorts now have to compete with cheap foreign breaks with guaranteed sunshine, tourism in the district has changed.
Officers work hard to promote the district nationally for short breaks, walking, cultural or cycling holidays, using towns such as Woodbridge, Felixstowe and Aldeburgh as bases for exploring the coastal area.
Recent customer satisfaction surveys had praised the district's holiday guide - 70,000 of which are sent out annually - with more than 80 per cent saying it had made them want to visit and featured good information.
Mr Perry said the council's tourism role focused on marketing, supporting the growth of tourism spend in the district, improving facilities, enhancing skills and job opportunities in the hospitality industry, and co-ordinating events.
"In order to raise the profile of Suffolk Coastal and to promote the district, an annual media plan is implemented to 'sell' the area," he said.
"This is done by advertising in selected cost-effective media outlets and specialist publications, direct mail, and websites. Public relations is also used as part of the marketing mix, via our partnership with the Suffolk Tourism Partnership."
The council spends around £430,000 on tourism and resort activities each year - the majority on running the tourist information centres.