Suffolk: Curious tourism campaign netted more than £750k

Curious County campaign

Curious County campaign - Credit: Archant

Visitors to Suffolk generated an estimated spend of more than £750,000 thanks to a successful tourism campaign, new figures have revealed.

According to the survey, Visit Suffolk’s 14-week Curious County campaign saw approximately £768,433 in visitor spending with more than half of respondents claiming to be “definitely” or “partly” influenced to visit the county as a result of the campaign.

The boost comes after the campaign initially split opinion and attracted fierce criticism that it was not portraying Suffolk in a positive light.

Visit Suffolk’s brand manager Amanda Bond said: “Measuring the impact of The Curious County has been vital in demonstrating the campaign’s efficacy.

“Its impact on the visitor economy is incredibly pleasing, plus the campaign has enabled us to understand and plot visitor profiles and trends much more closely, which is fundamental to future marketing initiatives.

“With Curious County being the first digital campaign for the county we have nothing to benchmark it against, but feedback from businesses coupled with the impact it had on day and short break visitors indicates that social media is a highly impactful way to reach out to new audiences.”

From the 621 people surveyed, 26% had visited or booked to visit Suffolk for one or more short breaks, 36% visited or booked to travel to Suffolk for days out and 29% were planning on visiting the county. Only 8% had not visited nor planned to.

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The survey showed the majority of visitors heralded from the south east, East Midlands, Greater London and the east of England.

Keith Brown, chief executive of Visit East Anglia, said: “Curious County is a perfect example of the energetic marketing initiatives we are supporting to raise the profile of Suffolk and its surrounding counties as world-class visitor destinations. “The creativity and innovation it demonstrated has set the bar high and we’re delighted to see the positive impact it’s made to the tourism industry.”

The most popular destinations across the county were coastal resorts (47%), Bury St Edmunds (13%), Woodbridge (10%) and Ipswich and Lavenham (both 7%).

While specific Suffolk attractions listed as the most popular included the Adnams tours, Sutton Hoo, Snape Maltings, Lavenham Guildhall, Ickworth House, RSPB Minsmere and Latitude Festival.

The most popular hotels for overnight visits were The Swan at Southwold, The Swan at Lavenham, The White Lion in Aldeburgh and The Crown in Southwold.

Robert Gough, owner of Gough Hotels, the company behind the Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds and Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich, said: “With us nearly at the end of the summer season, 2013 will go down as a record year for us and I’m certain that the Curious County campaign played a major part in that.”