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Suffolk: Why travel further? Holidaymakers encouraged to explore Dedham Vale and Suffolk coast

18:32 11 March 2014

With beaches like this in Suffolk, why travel further?

With beaches like this in Suffolk, why travel further?

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A major tourism seminar will unite experts from both sides of the Channel with the common goal of promoting holidays closer to home.

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Dedham Vale - Why travel further when we have beautiful spots like this on our doorstep?Dedham Vale - Why travel further when we have beautiful spots like this on our doorstep?

The ‘Why Travel Further?’ conference will hear the findings of tourism research programmes carried out by cross-border partners, including Suffolk Coast and Heaths and Dedham Vale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

Both groups have been awarded additional 2 Seas Interreg funding to share the findings, following the successful delivery of the EU and locally-funded Balance project, set up to help balance tourism needs with the region’s sensitive landscape.

Businesses and organisations from both sides of the Channel will gather for the conference in Kent on Thursday, April 3, when keynote speakers will provide tips on encouraging UK visitors to take holidays in national parks and protected landscapes on their doorstep.

The 2 Seas Interreg Proximity partnership was awarded funding to disseminate and develop findings of its previous European research programmes; Sustainable Tourism Research and Intelligence Partnership (SusTrip), Greet The World, Coastal Actions for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) and Balance.

All the findings will be published to help businesses and tourism organisations understand the economic opportunities offered by the ‘near market’.

David Wood, chairman of Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, said: “Our recent Interreg project has contributed greatly to the visitor economy and our partners have experienced similar benefits from their different areas of research.

“We have formed new relationships and partnerships as we have worked together and gained insights that no single area could have achieved alone.”

Nigel Chapman, chairman of the Dedham Vale AONB, added: “It will also bring businesses and volunteers from either side of the Channel together to develop new networks and exciting marketing and promotional opportunities to support our tourism economy.”

The Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB covers 155 square miles of Suffolk Heritage Coast, while the Dedham Vale AONB is characterised as one of England’s finest lowland landscapes, captured by painters such as John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough.

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