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East Anglia: Tie-in between Visit East Anglia and Anglia Farmers expected to boost region’s tourism sector

17:40 24 June 2014

Visit East Anglia CEO Keith Brown with Affinity General Manager Louis Clabburn

Visit East Anglia CEO Keith Brown with Affinity General Manager Louis Clabburn

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A ground-breaking link between tourism organisation Visit East Anglia (VEA) and a farmers’ co-operative is expected to provide a boost to the region’s tourism sector.

VEA, which moved into new rent-free offices at Anglia Farmers’ (AF) site at Honingham Thorpe, Colton, near Norwich, last week, says the partnership will bring a wide range of purchasing benefits to its tourism business members through the co-op’s agricultural purchasing arm.

The benefits are also available to Visit East Anglia’s local destination partners including Suffolk Coastal District Council, Visit North Norfolk, Norfolk Tourism Attractions Association, Broads Tourism Forum and Visit Norwich.

Visit East Anglia, a leading tourism promotion organisation formed by tourism businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk, manages the Visit Norfolk, Visit North Norfolk, Visit Suffolk brands and also undertakes much of the promotion of the region on behalf of train company Abellio Greater Anglia. It was previously located in offices at Banham Zoo.

Through the deal, it will be able to offer a bespoke package to its members, which it says will help tourism attractions across the region to save time and money on a wide range of products, including fuel, electricity and building materials.

“This is an important development for tourism businesses as whilst the market is showing encouraging levels of confidence regarding future visitor numbers, businesses are experiencing increased costs that if not addressed, could mean that profitability and eventually sustainability is at risk,” VEA said.

“The combination of the effective marketing of our destinations bringing new visitors into the region and the cost-saving potential in purchasing through AF is a compelling reason for businesses to participate.”

VEA member the Zoological Society of East Anglia is already sourcing through AF. Its director of operations Martin Dupee said: “The Zoological Society of East Anglia saves over 30% by purchasing its bulk propane gas through Affinity. The association between Affinity, the Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association and now, Visit East Anglia, has given opportunities for others to join and start saving money on gas and other key business costs and I strongly recommend everyone do this.”

Keith Brown’ VEA’s chief executive, said they were tapping into the expertise of AF’s expert buying team.

“The combination of the two is quite unique and that’s what we are hoping to exploit,” he said.

VEA is encouraging businesses to support and join their local tourism organisations to give them access to the programme. If a tourism business does not have such a local tourism organisation nearby, then they can join Visit East Anglia directly.

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