Suffolk: Twin initiatives launched to boost county as destination for tourism

A TWO-pronged bid by tourism bosses to boost Suffolk as a destination is being launched today.

Visit East Anglia is linking up with the county council and other authorities in Suffolk to appoint a new “brand manager” to champion the county, which already has a �1.7billion tourist industry.

And it is also talking to new rail operator Greater Anglia about offering more deals to people heading to the region’s tourist attractions.

Visit East Anglia chief executive Keith Brown said the announcements represented a major development for the new body that was set up in the wake of the winding-up of Choose Suffolk last year.

He said: “Today’s announcement is a major step forward for tourism. These new partnerships will ensure we have the investment, the momentum and an effective approach to delivering real tourism successes in 2012 and beyond.”

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He added: “For the first time, county and all the districts and boroughs in Suffolk have come on board with agreed objectives to drive forward the direction of tourism for the county. Together, we are focused on ensuring that destinations across Suffolk get the support and backing they need.”

The county council started discussions with Visit East Anglia soon after Choose Suffolk came to an end last year.

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County councillor with responsibility for the economy Judy Terry said: “Tourism is a key, and growing, sector for Suffolk. The partnership with Visit East Anglia is important in guaranteeing the needs of the county are met.”

The brand manager will be aiming to maintain and boost the value of tourism in Suffolk.

With the Olympics taking place just 50 miles from the county border in east London and a host of events to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, tourism is expected to be even more important for the county this year.

Mrs Terry said: “Having this dedicated resource to work with both the private and public sector is of major importance to ensuring a joined-up approach, along with prioritising the needs for Suffolk businesses and destinations.”

Meanwhile, Greater Anglia will be working with Visit East Anglia to try to increase the number of visitors travelling to the area by train.

It will be funding a number of marketing activities, promoting everything from East Anglia’s historic cities to shopping destinations.

The company is expected to back up the campaign by releasing a booklet offering visitors two-for-one entry to a host of the area’s top attractions when visiting by train.

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