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Suffolk earns £3m from tourism every day

PUBLISHED: 12:50 19 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:28 05 July 2010

SUFFOLK'S rich array of attractions and heritage are banking the county close to £3 million every day, new figures have revealed.

The role of tourism in Suffolk's economy has grown by more than 5% since 2005, and the industry now employs one in 10 people in the county.

SUFFOLK'S rich array of attractions and heritage are banking the county close to £3 million every day, new figures have revealed.

The role of tourism in Suffolk's economy has grown by more than 5% since 2005, and the industry now employs one in 10 people in the county.

A new Suffolk Tourism Partnership (STP) report shows tourism's value to the county rose to an estimated £1.085 billion, despite visitor numbers dropping, between 2005 and 2006.

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 £220 million a year.

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 £3million per day, supports local shops, services and communities.

“Visitors are essential to Suffolk's economy and the sector now employs 10% of the county's workforce.”

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

“This year our focus is very much on marketing our rich cultural and arts offering, so we should continue to attract the sort of visitor likely to make positive impacts on the economy. We've been working very closely with accommodation providers and attractions around Suffolk and believe the work is delivering real results,” he said.

Robert Gough, managing director of the four-star hotels the Salthouse, in Ipswich, and The Angel, in Bury St Edmunds, said the rise of the short weekend breaks was something Suffolk had really tapped into in recent years.

“The increase of the long weekend away has benefited Suffolk tremendously. We are two hours away from London and it is perfect for good, short, quality breaks away from the hustle and bustle,” he said.

Tim Rowan-Robinson, managing director of Thorpeness and Aldeburgh Hotels, said March and November had now become key months in their calendar and added the figures were “great news” for the county.

Fiona Kerr, manager of Easton Farm Park, near Woodbridge, said: “2006 was an excellent year for us. Suffolk is a fantastic place - so close to London and yet so different. We surprise them with what we have got and once people discover us they just keep coming back.”

Pleasurewood Hills theme park near Lowestoft pulled in the most visitors to a paid for attraction in 2006, with 200,000 people visiting the park.

Terry Nunn, its marketing director, said he expected them to top the list but said competition was getting far stiffer as leisure tourism in the county was becoming much more spread out with far more attractions than their used to be.

“There is more choice for the tourist visitor in Suffolk than ever before now,” he said.

The five most popular paid for tourist attractions in Suffolk for 2006 were:

Pleasurewood Hills

Sutton Hoo

RSPB Minsmere

Snape Maltings

Africa Alive

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