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Tourism value soars

PUBLISHED: 14:55 12 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:23 05 July 2010

The value of tourism to the Waveney area has soared to £216m a year and accounts for more than a 10th of jobs, new figures reveal.

Big-name shows and local events have been credited for attracting more visitors compared to last year when tourism was valued at just under £200m.

The value of tourism to the Waveney area has soared to £216m a year and accounts for more than a 10th of jobs, new figures reveal.

Big-name shows and local events have been credited for attracting more visitors compared to last year when tourism was valued at just under £200m.

Waveney District Council's tourism manager Darren Newman said its Sunrise Coast campaign had continued to have a positive impact on attracting tourists to the area.

“Tourism in Waveney is growing year on year. The Lowestoft air show and Latitude music festival bring lots of visitors, as well as smaller events such as the dragon boat racing in Oulton Broad.

“There's been general growth which is down to businesses working together as well as with the Waveney Tourism Forum.”

The Lowestoft air festival alone brings in about £11m and the coastal town also recently hosted the 50m-tall Mercedes ship, one of only five visits to England this year. As well as the Latitude festival taking place at Henham Park in July, the bank holiday weekend saw the return of the High Tide festival in Halesworth.

The news is particularly welcome to seafront traders in Lowestoft who have been under pressure by ongoing roadworks, including delayed repairs to the bascule bridge.

“One of the things we are trying to develop is year-round attractions that are not dependent on the weather and can be open for longer periods. Somerleyton Hall and Pleasurewood Hills now open until later in the season,” added Mr Newman.

Stephen Bournes, who owns the pier in Southwold, said the success of tourism in the area was down to knowing what visitors wanted.

“Suffolk is a little gem. We bought the pier three years ago and our gate and restaurant visitors are increasing every year, with lots of new people all of the time,” he said.

“People come here for the quality package, especially with the good weather over the bank holiday weekend. It's about getting to know your coast and British culture, and coming here is a good way to do that.

“People are definitely more aware of what Waveney has to offer and we are constantly improving.”

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