Record start to year for holiday lets firm Suffolk Secrets

George Bradley of Suffolk Secrets.

George Bradley of Suffolk Secrets. - Credit: Archant

One of East Anglia’s leading holiday lets companies has reported a record start to 2015.

Suffolk Secrets, which has more than 350 properties on its books, says it has seen a 20% increase in bookings since the start of January, with its sister company, Southwold Lettings, experiencing similar growth.

George Bradley, general manager at Suffolk Secrets, said demand for early July was currently double the level of this time last year, suggesting that summer 2015 will eclipse last year’s bumper bookings.

Suffolk Secrets, which has been trading for 19 years and also has offices in Aldeburgh and Woodbridge, enjoyed its biggest year ever for bookings during 2014.

Some properties returned exceptional occupancy rates of 40 weeks over the year, double the industry standard and significantly higher than other areas in the UK including Devon and Cornwall.

The company’s overall occupancy rates for the summer holiday period increased by 30% year-on-year, with growth of up to 70% achieved in some weeks during the second of 2014.

Mr Bradley said that Suffolk’s profile as a premier holiday destination has never been higher, with the return of the BBC’s Springwatch programme to the RSPB’s Minsmere reserve once again set to put the county “front of mind” for holidaymakers ahead of the summer season.

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“Tourism is worth more than £500million along the Suffolk Coast alone, providing one out of every nine jobs in the area,” said Mr Bradley, who was also recently appointed chairman of Southwold & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.

“Suffolk is a year-round destination and we’ve seen a huge rise in short-break and last minute bookings in the past year alone, sometimes getting phone calls when the customer is actually in the car on the way here,” he added.