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Heatwave is a real boost for tourism

PUBLISHED: 14:42 02 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:42 02 August 2018

A Suffolk coastal holiday cottage, from Suffolk Secrets

A Suffolk coastal holiday cottage, from Suffolk Secrets

Archant

Holiday cottage operators in Suffolk have seen a rush of bookings as the heatwave has encouraged tourists to book staycations in the county.

Southwold pier. 

Picture: CLIFFORD HICKSSouthwold pier. Picture: CLIFFORD HICKS

Cottages on the coast and in the countryside have been proving popular, with late bookings for holiday homes for the school summer holidays snapped up.

Tim Ripman of the Best of Suffolk agency said: “We are getting a lot of calls; some are same day arrivals.

“Last week we saw an increase in 18% in bookings compared with the same week last year.

“And of those 195 bookings over 100 were for July/August this year.

Felixstowe beach Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFelixstowe beach Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“The great weather, with the highest temperature recorded in Suffolk last week, is having an affect, of course.

“We are also working closely with our owners to offer more flexibility for clients, rather than the usualy Friday-Friday, or Friday to Monday bookings.

They were now 85%/90% booked for August, he said, with just a few properties available.

Best of Suffolk was established 12 years ago, and was seeing year-on-year growth.

Prices for next year were released in May, and there were already booking taken for larger coastal properties.

It was a similar picture for Suffolk Cottage Holidays/Suffolk Secrets agency.

Chloe Baker said summer bookings had been down in the early part of the year and the long wet winter.

She said: “People just wanted to get away and go to the sun. It was wet here, there was snow and it was cold.

“The heatwave has had an affect and in the last few weeks it has really picked up.

“We have the whole range of homes from shepherd’s huts to Victorian town houses and stately homes up to 15 bedrooms, and lots of two and four bedroom properties.

“We have over 600 properties on the books, and we are about 80% full over the holiday period.”

A lot of visitors came from the London area, Essex and the Midlands. “We do have some French, German and American visitors - Southwoold in particular is now internationally known.”

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