Tourism partnership sets out strategy

“REAL”, “Fun” and “Indulgence” will be key words underpinning the Choose Suffolk Tourism Partnership's promotional strategy this year, delegates at the organisation's annual conference were told yesterday.

“REAL”, “Fun” and “Indulgence” will be key words underpinning the Choose Suffolk Tourism Partnership's promotional strategy this year, delegates at the organisation's annual conference were told yesterday.

Alex Paul, the partnership's tourism manager, said the approach was to create sense of all-round experience, with a good hotel and a good meal no longer being enough in itself to meet consumer's expectations and leave them wanting to come back.

The “Real” aspect of the campaign would focus on opportunities for visitors to enjoy the same things as local people, rather than experiences aimed specifically at the tourist market.

A sense of “Indulgence” was important as people who worked hard the rest of the time wanted to spoil themselves on holiday.


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And the “Fun” element, while apparently an obvious aspect of tourism, would focus on the importance of activities, events and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

Mr Paul said he welcomed the support for cultural tourism indicated earlier in the conference by Tourism Minister Barbara Follett.

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The “sleepy backwater” image of Suffolk did the county “no favours”, he said. While the opportunity to enjoy its open spaces was an important part of its attraction, people were also looking for activities and events to enjoy.

Mr Paul added that a two-week campaign of advertising on the Tube in London would begin later this month and a local press campaign would run in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex. These would be supported by brochures, e-newsletter and a refreshed website.

Last year's “Big Weekend” initiative in the autumn, to engage with local people, would also be repeated this year

Godfrey Spanner of Onslow Suffolk, the development company behind the SnOasis snow dome scheme at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, highlighted the world-class nature of the facility which is due to open in 2013, representing a major boost to the country's tourist industry.

Tim Smit, co-founder of The Eden Project in Cornwall, gave delivered an impassioned address in which he stressed the importance for those running an attraction to believe in it.

Some operators coming to him for advice openly declared that their attractions were not to their own taste but were aimed at the tourist. His advice to them was to close.

However, said Mr Smit: “If you love something then, unless you are a freak, the chances are that millions of other people will love it. The only issue then is marketing.”

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