Initiative launched to attract visitors to Bury St Edmunds
A major initiative has been launched in Bury St Edmunds in a bid to attract visitors into the town with the upcoming Bury Festival at the heart of the campaign.
The 10-day event, which kicks off on May 18, has a host of top artists and acts lined up including Jools Holland, Gilbert O’Sullivan, UB40, Aled Jones, Benjamin Zephaniah and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
It stretches across 15 venues in the town with 60 acts featured.
And now a “You’ll Want To Stay Longer” campaign has been launched in conjunction with the festival and Greater Anglia targeted at the over 45 market who live one to three hours away from the town. The idea is to entice them to stay longer and spend their money to help boost the local economy.
Independent research conducted by St Edmundsbury Borough Council has revealed that visitors staying overnight in Bury spend an average of £212 during their trip, while day visitors spend an average of £29.
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The Bury campaign has been launched following the success of the “RAW Suffolk” project which was unveiled in January by tourism leaders across the county, aimed at getting high-spending under 35s to place Suffolk on their “must-visit” list.
It is led by Suffolk’s destination management organisations – All About Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds & Beyond, The Suffolk Coast and Heart of Suffolk under Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council, supported by Visit Suffolk.
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Sue Warren, the brand and marketing manager for Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, said: “We have got lots going on in the town and we want to make more of it.
“Tourism is big business in Bury St Edmunds with the value of tourism to the local economy calculated at more than £47 million and the local tourism industry supports around 1,000 jobs.
“We are very fortunate to have a fantastic visitor offer here. We have over 1,000 years of history to explore, award-winning restaurants, more than 200 shops and wonderful markets. Plus, fantastic fairs and festivals, stunning parks and gardens, the wool towns on our doorstep and we are surrounded by amazing countryside.
“We are about to launch a campaign to put the Bury St Edmunds Festival in front of a wider audience and encourage people to stay in the area for longer as well as researching our key target markets which will further inform our marketing going forward.”
Nick Wells, the festival manager, added: “Clearly if people are coming into the town, coming to stay in hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our shops, that is great for the local economy.
“It’s a great way to celebrate what’s fantastic about our town.”
And on the Bury festival programming he said: “I think it has been partly programmed specifically to help everyone living in the area to engage [with it] and encourage people to do just that, spend more time in Bury and come and take in two or three days at the festival.”