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Hills hit tourist attraction heights

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:32 05 July 2010

Yves Delhommeau, Woody Bear and Denise Thompson

Yves Delhommeau, Woody Bear and Denise Thompson

PLEASUREWOOD Hills has been named the most visited attraction across Suffolk, new statistics have revealed.

The theme park in north Lowestoft pulled in 200,000 people to a paid-for attraction in 2006, while wildlife park Africa Alive! in Kessingland, also made it into the top five.

PLEASUREWOOD Hills has been named the most visited attraction across Suffolk, new statistics have revealed.

The theme park in north Lowestoft pulled in 200,000 people to a paid-for attraction in 2006, while wildlife park Africa Alive! in Kessingland, also made it into the top five.

Suffolk's rich array of attractions and heritage are banking the county close to £3m every day, with the role of tourism growing by more than 5pc since 2005 and the industry now employing one in 10 people over the county.

The figures released by the Suffolk Tourist Partnership show that the benefit to the ecomony from tourism has risen to an estimated £1.085bn, despite visitor numbers dropping between 2005 and 2006.

Denise Thompson, commercial and public relations manager at Pleasurewood Hills, said they were extremely pleased to hear the news, especially because the count was taken before the opening of their new ride Wipeout.

“We are absolutely thrilled because to get that amount of visitors in what is a very saturated market in this area is brilliant,” she said.

“I think Pleasurewood Hills has done it because it's for the whole family. Grandparents come to see the shows, teenagers to go on the rides and it's all included in the entrance price. We have a beautiful setting … I believe the location is certainly one of the

draws.”

The figures show the county is establishing itself as a quality national tourist destination, with short-break rural tourism appearing to be a popular attraction.

And further increases are forecast as a new campaign is due to be rolled out on the London Underground encouraging professionals in the capital to Choose Suffolk.

Coastal resorts such as Southwold still remain the honeypots, with the Suffolk Coastal district raking in £220m a year.

And Scott Dolling, STP's destination marketing manager, said: “This really is good news for the Suffolk economy and benefits far beyond just tourism businesses. The value, equating to around £3m per day, supports local shops, services and communities.”

He added that while visitor numbers in 2006 were slightly down on 2005, the county was attracting higher-spending tourists, which was part of their strategy.

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