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Tourism on way to a record year

PUBLISHED: 10:55 29 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:46 06 July 2010

EAST Anglia's summer tourism boom is set to continue over the Bank Holiday weekend with many in the industry already experiencing record a record-breaking season.

EAST Anglia's summer tourism boom is set to continue over the Bank Holiday weekend with many in the industry already experiencing record a record-breaking season.

Thanks to above average temperatures and very low rainfall, many of Suffolk's attractions have seen higher than normal attendances during August.

This weekend is set to crown a glorious month for the tourism trade in the region and the teams at attractions such as Pleasurewood Hills and Africa Alive! and Easton Farm Park are bracing themselves for large crowds.

Keith Brown, chief executive of East of England Tourism, said that in a recent survey of more than 250 businesses in Suffolk and Essex 73pc had reported an increase in visitor numbers.

He said: “In terms of their expectations until the end of September, 57pc said that business was likely to remain strong.

“Since the survey was undertaken, improved weather conditions and a positive forecast for September is resulting in many businesses increasing their optimism with a record year in prospect.

“As well as improved visitor numbers, the research confirms that our visitors are spending more money in the region which is good news for jobs as well as those businesses involved in this important industry sector.”

Alex Paul, tourism manager at Choose Suffolk, which runs the Visit Suffolk website, said there were a number of factors that had made this summer “so successful”.

He said: “When we're out and about talking to members of the Choose Suffolk Tourism Partnership we're hearing some very positive stories about their experiences this summer.

“Many of them have had a great summer period, with bookings up on last year and, in some cases, already coming in for the months ahead.

“While the improving weather has certainly played its part this year, Suffolk has also managed to tap in to a renewed interest in holidaying at home and is very well-placed to continue meeting this demand.”

Naomi Tarry, of Best of Suffolk, which offers “stylish, self-catering holiday accommodation”, said August had been the company's busiest ever month.

She said: “It's been a really brilliant summer - we have been so busy and this month we're set to take more bookings than ever before.

“Everyone has been reporting back what a great time they have been having. The events have been excellent - Aldeburgh Carnival was spectacular - and the quality and cultural aspects play a big part.”

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