East Anglia: Tourist chiefs join brewers in hailing ‘feelgood factor’ boost to summer trade

August sunshine on Southwold beach.

August sunshine on Southwold beach. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Tourism chiefs and other business leaders in East Anglia have joined pubs and brewing company Greene King in hailing a summer boost to spending from sporting successes and the birth of Prince George.

A “feel-good factor” generated by Andy Murray’s win at Wimbledon, the British and Irish Lion’s successful rugby tour in Australia and the Ashes triumph of England’s cricketers, together with the royal birth, is said to have contributed to improved consumer confidence and an increase in visitors to the region.

The comments came after Greene King toasted a strong summer, with like-for-like sales up on the same period last year, and put its success down, in part, to the joyous attitude of the nation.

Echoing the sentiments of the pubs and brewing group, Visit East Anglia, Adnams and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce cited a buoyant summer as a key for the county’s economy.

Keith Brown, of Visit East Anglia, said: “Consumer confidence is a critical factor for the tourism industry and in the last few years with challenging economic conditions prevailing across the country, businesses have had to fight hard to attract visitors to their destinations.

“Research also indicates that consumers have been reluctant to part with their money and have been saving or paying off debts rather than spending money on themselves.

“Weather is also an important factor when people make choices and despite Suffolk still being one of the driest and warmest counties in England we have had poor conditions for several years in a row.

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“Today however, the tourism sector is enjoying a strong period of growth with the combined effect of the royal baby, sporting success and of course one of the best summers in almost a decade is fuelling a growth in spending and visitor numbers across the county.

“This coupled with increased promotional activity by the tourism sector and businesses continuing to invest in the quality of the visitor experiences has supported this growth.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, added: “These are encouraging figures for Greene King and encouraging figures for Suffolk.

“Apart from the good news for one of the major producers of high quality drinks in our county it also shows how robust our local economy is at what remains a challenging time.

“We know from the recent export figures, where Suffolk showed a high increase compared to the rest of the east of England, that if the offer is right then consumers will buy quality goods.

“Our county is home to a diverse range of businesses and the Chambers most recent economic data shows that Suffolk is currently fairing better than many other parts of the UK.

“This is testament to the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit shown by Greene King and all its team.”

Meanwhile Emma Hibbert of Adnams added: “We have enjoyed increased beer volumes throughout the summer and our hotels and Cellar & Kitchen stores have been extremely busy.

“We are looking forward to this great weather continuing into September.”