Southwold-based holiday cottage firm toasts surging growth

Amanda Bond, Visit Suffolk brand manager

Amanda Bond, Visit Suffolk brand manager - Credit: Archant

The rapid growth of a holiday accommodation firm is a symbol of the region's buoyant tourism trade, an industry leader has claimed.

Southwold-based Suffolk Secrets has just topped the 400 property mark and general manager George Bradley said: 'We are receiving new instructions at a record rate, taking on nearly 20 new properties in June alone.

'More than 40,000 people will enjoy a Suffolk Secrets holiday this year and we're absolutely delighted that our business keeps growing at such a rapid pace.

'What's particularly thrilling is that our growth isn't just a business success story, but a wider reflection of the county's increasing appeal as a short break and holiday destination. It's Suffolk's beauty, heritage, landscape and culture that's the real success story here.'

The success of Suffolk Secrets is matched by other holiday accommodation providers across East Anglia which supports a £4.2bn annual tourism economy.

Earlier this summer, the expansion of Norfolk Hideaways prompted a move into new bigger offices in Wells; meanwhile, Holt-based Norfolk Country Cottages was also reporting strong summer bookings.

Visit Suffolk brand manager Amanda Bond said Suffolk Secrets' success story mirrored the strength of the industry, as reflected in the latest tourism business confidence monitor.

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The survey of businesses, commissioned by Visit Suffolk, showed that 96pc were confident of having a good summer and 80pc were reporting strong levels of advanced bookings to the end of August.

Ms Bond said: 'We are proving to be a go-to destination for short breaks and holidays, with the East being the fastest growing region in the country with more people visiting, staying longer and spending more per trip.

'Unmatched by any other region and in light of a flattening 'staycation' market, the East continues to buck the trend with spend up year-on-year by 13.9pc.'

Mr Bradley said 2014 had been a record-breaking year for holiday bookings, with bookings up 30pc year on year and occupancy rates of 40 weeks on some properties.

'This boom in holiday bookings, record yields and pension changes has created the best conditions for investing in the holiday property market for years,' he said.

'In the 16 years that Suffolk Secrets has been in operation, there's never been a better time to invest in the county's holiday lettings market.'

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