Suffolk tourism goes Dutch

EAST Anglian tourism bosses have visited the Netherlands in a bid to attract more overseas visitors to the area. Members of the Suffolk Development Agency's Suffolk Tourism Partnership donned Tudor doublets and hose as they visited Leiden in Holland at the weekend, and gave its residents a taste of some of our local produce.

EAST Anglian tourism bosses have gone Dutch in a bid to attract more overseas visitors to the area.

Members of the Suffolk Development Agency's Suffolk Tourism Partnership donned Tudor doublets and hose as they visited Leiden in Holland at the weekend, and gave its residents a taste of some of our local produce.

Their aim was to drum up interest in the county, along with the rest of the East of England, and they chose a Tudor theme to tie in with the period that is synonymous with many of our towns and attractions.

They were at the British Travel Market, an event which attracted more than 4,000 potential Dutch visitors to the area, who were given brochures and material in advance of their holidays later this year.

Scott Dolling of the Suffolk Tourism Partnership said he was “delighted” at the response.

“We have been very busy here in Leiden and once again the level of interest in Suffolk from this market appears very encouraging.

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“We have been able to attract a lot of interest in our stand by sampling Suffolk apple juice and beer thanks to our friends at James White and Adnams.”

Tourism is worth £948million to the Suffolk economy, and there is an increasing drive to gain more overseas tourism business.

The event was co-ordinated by VisitBritain's Amsterdam office and Suffolk is one of five partners inhte East of England to be represented.

“Many of us have come in costume to create a greater impact to the Dutch audience. We have chosen a Tudor theme as so many of our towns and attractions are synonymous with the period.”

Cathy Smith of the East of England Tourist Board was also pleased with the event's reception.

“It is incredibly valuable to be here at a show where the visitors are such Anglophiles and that are genuinely interested in visiting England in 2006.”

The exhibition completes a busy week for the Suffolk Tourism Partnership, which was also involved in a trade exhibition in Birmingham to promote the county to coach and group operators.