Hoseasons enjoys bumper bank holiday performance

Spring weather on the Norfolk Broads.A boat on the River Bure at Upton.April 2015.Picture: James Bas

Spring weather on the Norfolk Broads.A boat on the River Bure at Upton.April 2015.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Lowestoft-based holidays firm Hoseasons recorded bumper bookings across its portfolio for the first bank holiday in May.

Its holiday boat trade on the Broads was 39pc up on the same time last year while its parks and lodges breaks showed a 14pc rise in bookings.

The latest good news for the EDP Top100 company, which is part of international group Wyndham Vacation Rentals, comes in the wake of a record breaking start to the year followed by a surge in spring bookings.

Managing director Simon Altham said: 'Regarding the main summer holiday period, people are undoubtedly a lot more spontaneous these days. More people are holding back on making booking decisions around the weather and pricing.

'However, what is encouraging is that we are not seeing record numbers from overseas operators at the moment. People are not turning their backs on UK holidays - rather they are still seeing them as good value, easy and flexible.'

Mr Altham said he was confident that the Norfolk Broads – 'not just boating but cottages and holiday parks' – would benefit from A11 dualling opening up new markets within the crucial two to three-hour driving time.

And he said the general feeling of optimism in the tourism sector was reflected in the fact that their bookings for 2016 were already off to a great start.

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He said the positive mood was also encouraging 'more investment in Norfolk tourism infrastructure than at any time in my 10 years at Hoseasons'.

'It is testament to all the hard work in tough times, but what is happening now is exciting and encouraging for the long-term future of Norfolk tourism,' he said.

The bright outlook for domestic tourism had encouraged Hoseasons to take on 60 staff since November, he added.

Back in January Hoseasons reported a record-breaking start to the year for online and call centre bookings.

At that time, bookings for lodges and parks were 10pc up on the same month in 2014, while Norfolk Broads boating had shown even stronger growth, rising by 20pc.