Tourism campaign hailed as a success

INDEPENDENT research has highlighted the value of marketing efforts by Choose Suffolk, the economic development partnership charged with promoting tourism in the county.

Figures compiled by regional body East of England Tourism (EET), found that Choose Suffolk generated �15 of visitor spend in the county for every �1 it spent during 2010.

EET analysed responses from 625 individuals, using national tourism agency VisitBritain’s model for measuring return on investment.

It found that Choose Suffolk’s �100,000 investment in its campaigns and marketing activities, such as Suffolk Breaks 2010, Suffolk Great Days Out 2010 and the Visit Suffolk website, generated an estimated incremental spend of �1.549million.

Brigit Parker, marketing manager at Choose Suffolk, said: “We are delighted with the results of this survey. With a return on our investment of 15:1, this reinforces our confidence that we’re keeping Suffolk front-of-mind amongst consumers as a premier UK tourism destination.”

Tim Passmore, interim chief executive at Choose Suffolk, added: “Tourism is a key economic driver in our county. It is worth an annual �1.75billion to Suffolk’s economy.

“This exciting research demonstrates the essential role our marketing activities play in raising Suffolk’s profile and influencing the decisions of our target consumers.

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“In a very competitive marketplace we are making sure that we fully consider and justify every pound we spend. We’re making sure our marketing budgets are working hard and working well.”

The research found that 18% of respondents said that Choose Suffolk’s marketing campaigns had definitely had a direct influence on their decision to visit Suffolk, with a further 36% stating a probable or possible direct influence.

The Visit Suffolk eNewsletter and website were recalled by 73% of respondents, the Suffolk Great Days Out brochure by 55% and the Suffolk Breaks brochure by 47%.

With 2010 also marking the first year of an ongoing Festivals Suffolk campaign, positioning Suffolk as the UK’s festivals county, an encouraging 16% of respondents recalled seeing its dedicated brochure.

Marc Ernesti, head of marketing and media at Aldeburgh Music, said: “The results of this survey stand as testimony to the positive results of Choose Suffolk’s marketing activities.

“The organisation’s various campaigns make an extremely strong case for Suffolk and successfully profile the unique range of experiences that visitors to the county can discover.”

Jemma Finch, regional marketing co-ordinator for the National Trust, added: “This research shows Choose Suffolk is delivering real benefit to the county’s tourism sector.”

James Berresford, the chief executive of VisitEngland, who himself took a holiday in Aldeburgh last year, said: “This research shows that Choose Suffolk is delivering some great results through its innovative marketing approach.

“These results demonstrate the positive effect their various cross-platform campaigns and activities are having on consumers who are looking for a short break destination or highly enjoyable day out.”