New tourism body opens to members

A NEW tourism body for Norfolk and Suffolk launches its membership programme today as part of its bid to make the region the UK’s leading visitor destination.

Visit East Anglia (VEA) is introducing an all-inclusive programme which it says gives businesses a wide range of benefits to reduce operating costs as well as access to markets, both domestically and internationally.

Chief Executive of Visit East Anglia, Keith Brown said they welcomed anyone with an interest in tourism to join the new organisation.

“From today tourism businesses large and small can join us at Visit East Anglia,” he said.

“Our new membership programe includes exclusively negotiated discounts such as reduced credit card and banking rates and savings on hospitality insurance along with business support and networking opportunities.

“As the new private sector organisation tasked with promoting tourism, Visit East Anglia is bringing a unified voice to Norfolk and Suffolk. This new programme is about being consumer, customer and membership focused and we welcome anybody with a tourism interest to join us.”

Visit East Anglia, which is promoting tourism across East Anglia, says it is committed to making the area the UK’s leading visitor destination. Founding members include Adnams PLC, Southwold Pier and Suffolk Secrets.

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Stephen Bournes from Southwold Pier said: “Tourism in East Anglia is worth �4billion a year to the local economy and the new VEA membership programme is exactly what we need to ensure the region’s tourism businesses can access the business development opportunities available to them.”

Benefits of the new membership scheme include free specialist marketing advice from tourism experts, free legal advice, the UK’s best tourism credit card processing rates and discounts on insurance.

It is being supported by leading businesses in the region, including Lloyds TSB, Birketts, Ryan Insurance and Larking Gowen, which are playing a part in the offer to members.

Visit East Anglia owns and operates consumer website www.visiteastofengland.com, together with a sizeable customer database and Destination Management System. The website is an important resource which promotes the region and attracts 1.6 million visitors per year.