Essex: Membership boost for Visit Essex following launch of ‘Live Local, Love Local’ campaign

Essex county councillor Kevin Bentley, cabinet member for rconomic growth and vice chair of Visit Es

Essex county councillor Kevin Bentley, cabinet member for rconomic growth and vice chair of Visit Essex, left, and Visit Essex chairman George Kieffer at the launch of the 'Live Local, Love Local' campaign, held at Wivenhoe House Hotel - Credit: Archant

More than a dozen organisations have joined tourism organisation Visit Essex following the launch of its new “Live Local, Love Local” campaign.

The initiative aims to increase awareness among local people of what Essex has to offer as a visitor destination, highlighting the experiences they can enjoy on their doorstep and increasing the sense of pride in the county.

Following a successful campaign last year, the Visit Essex team has again linked up with attractions, hotels and restaurants from across the county to produce an exclusive “chequebook” of discounts, worth more than £450 and designed to help local residents get out and discover the gems that are on their doorsteps for a little less.

George Kieffer, chairman of Visit Essex, said: “Our aim at Visit Essex is to promote tourism, increase visitor numbers, and generate income for Essex tourism and hospitality businesses.

“Visit Essex offers its members range of services to help promote and increase their business and the ‘Live Local, Love Local’ campaign is a great example of how we support our local businesses to attract more customers while offering Essex residents an outstanding package of discounts.”

In the first month of the booklet’s launch, 308 vouchers were redeemed at 38 of the 57 attraction taking part and the vouchers will remain valid until December this year. There are booklets still available across the county or the vouchers can be down-loaded from the Visit Essex website at

Essex county councillor Kevin Bentley, cabinet member for economic growth and vice chair of Visit Essex, said: “The tourism industry is vitally important to economic growth of the county and in the short time the ‘Live Local, Love Local’ campaign has been running, we have already seen a large number of vouchers redeemed.

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“There are so many wonderful attractions across the county and this is a fantastic way of enabling people to go out and see them for themselves.”

Offers in this year’s booklet include; Audley End House, RHS Hyde Hall, Hedingham Castle, Ingatestone Hall, Old MacDonald’s Farm, Colne Valley Railway, RSPB Rainham Marshes, The Epping Golf Course, the Tiptree Tea Rooms and the 1935 restaurant at Holiday Inn Southend as well as discounted travel from c2c. This year, there is also the chance to win a special overnight break for two at Down Hall Country House Hotel in Hatfield Heath.

Mr Kieffer added: “This is our best ever booklet with more venues than ever and a wide range of venues, attractions and restaurants so there is something in it for the whole family.

“For the first time we are also making these savings available electronically too to make sure we reach the largest number of Essex residents. I encourage residents to pick up a booklet and get out and enjoy what or wonderful county has to offer.”

The “Live Local, Love Local” discount cheques are available to pick up at libraries, TICs, railway stations and all major attractions and accommodation establishments or alternatively, you can visit to download the vouchers.