Strategy launched to boost tourism to the Suffolk coast
- Credit: Nick Butcher
It is one of the most beautiful parts of the country with its picture-postcard beaches, historic attractions and high-quality hotels and food.
Yet according to the chairman of a organisation promoting tourism to the area, the Suffolk coast risks losing out to places like the West Country unless more people know about its delights.
Now, to make sure people put Suffolk in their sat-navs rather than the Lake District, the Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation (DMO) - set up to promote the area in the wake of government cuts to tourism funding - has devised a multimedia strategy which it believes will bring more people to the area.
Specifically to be targeted during the non-peak autumn and winter months, the DMO and Norwich-based creative marketing agency Shorthose Russell believe they have identified a typical Suffolk holidaymaker they can target.
And they plan to target that person directly using the internet as their biggest tool, with a brand new website leading the way in showing why the Suffolk coast is the number one place to visit.
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'The website has become what your brochure would've been 15 years ago,' said Shorthose Russell director Peter Joyner.
'It's where people get their information. The website is your shop window.'
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As such a new website - www.suffolkcoast.co.uk - has been designed as a sort of one-stop shop where people can find out everything they need to know about where to stay, what to do and how to eat, all in one place.
'If you can't engage people quickly, they will click off,' Mr Joyner warned.
The goal, he added, it to promote a 'general increased awareness' of the Suffolk coast.
'You've got all the fundamentals in place,' Mr Joyner told an audience of businesses at the tourism strategy launch event at Lowestoft's Claremont Pier.
'If we can get more people in during November, January, February, that's better for everyone.'
Tim Rowan-Robinson, Suffolk DMO chairman, said: 'The biggest thing we've got to do is get this part of the world on the map so we're amongst the options people first think of.
'Repeat business in this part of the world is strong but not enough people come to us.
'We're trying to explain all the good things that happen along the coast. We're easily accessible and have got a great deal to offer.'
Kirsty Dupee, operations director at Africa Alive! in Kessingland and also a member of the DMO, added: 'Whilst we have an array of attractions, we need to get people here to enjoy it.'
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