Value of Suffolk’s tourism industry grows to £1.85bn

Amanda Bond, Visit Suffolk brand manager

Amanda Bond, Visit Suffolk brand manager - Credit: Archant

The value of Suffolk’s tourism industry has grown to £1.85billion a year, according to new figures, with the total, for the 2013 season, represents a rise of £50million over 2012.

Data from an economic impact report also shows that more than 38,000 people were employed in jobs relating to tourism during 2013, representing 12.3% of the county’s overall employment, or nearly one job in every eight.

Amanda Bond, brand manager for Visit Suffolk, said the figures showed increases across the board, with employment and visitors numbers growing alongside the overall increase in value.

“It’s particularly good to see more visitors coming to Suffolk across a longer period of the year, rather than just in the peak summer months, and we want to build on that as there is so much to see and do here throughout the seasons,” she said. “The 4% increase in the number of jobs in the sector demonstrates that it is still growing, and as such, it’s important to pay attention to the skills, and funding, required to support that growth,” she added.

The report shows that while day trippers are very valuable – bringing an estimated £9.5m into the county over the course of the year, with food and drink their largest areas of spend – staying guests are the priority market, and plans are already in place to attract more staying holidaymakers, both from elsewhere in the UK and overseas.

Visit Suffolk is due to launch its next promotional campaign in the New Year, a continuation of its “You, Unplugged” brand, to highlight some of Suffolk’s many unique selling points, including Constable Country, the Brecks and wool towns such as Lavenham and Long Melford.