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East Anglia: Boating-related tourism worth £271m to region’s economy

19:22 07 February 2014

The Ipswich Waterfront.

The Ipswich Waterfront.

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The East of England generated around £271million over the past two years from boating tourism, according to a new report.

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A study by the British Marine Federation showed 7.3% of the total contribution to the national economy from boating tourism, which stands at £3.7billion, comes from this region.

It also supports more than 7,000 full time jobs locally.

Sectors which contribute directly to boating tourism in the UK include marinas and moorings, passenger boats, charter and boat hire and sea schools and training.

Additionally spending on non-boating goods and services, such as food and drink and travel and accommodation, will also contribute to the overall figures.

This sort of spending results from day visits and overnight stays to participate in boating and watersport activities, visiting boats and taking trips on passenger vessels.

The new figures were welcomed by both the British Marine Foundation and the government’s tourism minister.

Nigel Hamilton, chairman of British Marine Federation for tourism, said: “Boating tourism is a very diverse segment of the UK tourism market and makes a valuable contribution to the economy in the East of England.

“Despite the industry experiencing some challenging times in recent years as a result of the global financial crisis and subsequent recessions, prospects for future growth now look good as we expect participation rates in water-based activities to rise.”

MP Helen Grant, minister for tourism, said: “I very much welcome the findings of the British Marine Federation’s report into the economic benefits for UK boating tourism.

“These are important statistics to a government which recognises the crucial role that the overall tourism sector plays in economic growth.

“Boating tourism has a key part to play in sustaining this positive picture.”

According to the report the boating tourism industry indirectly supports around 81,000 full time equivalent jobs.

It goes on to say that for every person directly employed in the core boating tourism sector, a further 10 jobs are supported in the wider economy.

The full report is available from www.britishmarine.co.uk, the website of the British Marine Federation.

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