Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Historic landmarks and rich heritage draws tourists from near and far to Suffolk and north Essex

09:00 03 May 2014

Heritage is a vital element to the region's tourist industry.

Heritage is a vital element to the region's tourist industry.

With crucial anniversaries this year and for several years ahead, tourist bosses in the region hope the emphasis on East Anglia’s heritage could be crucial to the growth of the sector.

The region’s tourism industry is hoping to benefit from more visits from both British and foreign visitors – and a new report from Barclays Bank gives real hope that foreign visits will increase.

It expects the value of foreign visitors to the East Anglian economy to increase from about £875 million last year to about £1.1 million by 2017.

The centenary of the First World War is a key element driving an interest in the region’s heritage, but other significant anniversaries are also playing their part.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Sutton Hoo discovery which changed the way many people thought about the Anglo Saxons whose arrival in this country marks the start of English history.

And next year’s 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta is already featuring on the region’s tourist trail – one of the originals is currently on display in Bury St Edmunds.

Visit Suffolk chief Keith Brown said the area’s heritage was vital to attract visitors: “It is one of the most important factors behind why people come to visit the area.

“Suffolk’s heritage is incredibly rich, but it is also important that there are new ways of presenting this – and that is what we are seeing at this important time.”

Visitors to the area do not recognise county boundaries – tourists staying in Suffolk are unlikely to shun an attraction like Colchester Castle simply because it is on the other side of the county boundary.

At Visit Essex marketing manager Elli Constantatou said heritage remained a key attraction for visitors to the county.

She said: “We are seeing more visitors coming from other countries, and they don’t come here because of the weather! It is the heritage that is the big attraction.

“Essex has the oldest town in Britain, Colchester, and the restoration of the castle is magnificent. That will attract many visitors both locally and from further afield.”

The Barclays report says that American, French and German visitors are currently the most numerous in East Anglia – but visitors from China are likely to be in third place by the year 2017.

Jane Galvin from Barclays said: “From its picturesque villages and market towns, to the sandy beaches along the coast, the East of England boasts an abundance of popular leisure destinations and shopping centres across the region.

“Businesses putting in the time and effort will carve out an advantage that will enable them to offer something more tailored for each nationality that visits the region.”

1 comment

  • What an encouraging account of tourism for East Anglia, especially for the coming months. In sharp contrast the authorities (or an official?)of the ancient tourist town of Bury St Edmunds have decided to shut down the very central Angel Hill tourist office and disperse to different places! When I visit another town home or abroad the first place I make for is the tourist office. That will be a real problem in lovely old Bury. Shame!

    Report this comment


    Saturday, May 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Stock photo - Clown pranksters have been spotted in suffolk this weekend

Suffolk police officers have been called to a clown sighting in Haughley, near Stowmarket this afternoon.

American tycoon Donald Trump

Fight or flight is fascinating, writes Ellen Widdup.

Police were called to the scene of an accident.

Severe traffic delays on the A12 in Feering, Essex, have been caused by a two car crash.

Gina Long

A Suffolk-based charity auction which has attracted bids from all over the world and raised more than £870,000 since its inception is aiming to break the £1million mark for national and local charities this year.

Suffolk Constabulary CCTV footage of Corrie McKeague

Some stores display a polite notice next to initial merchandise asking shoppers not to rearrange the items to create rude words.

Annual Apple Day at Holywells Park, on Saturday.Isabelle Lipscombe and Isabella Smart.

Hundreds of youngsters braved the cold October temperatures to celebrate all things autumn at the Holywells Park Apple Day.

Jordan Georgiou who has escaped from custody

Police are searching for a 22-year-old man from Clacton who has escaped custody while being treated at Colchester General Hospital.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24