Tourism boss remains positive for Christmas and 2021 despite lockdown

Tourists flocked to Suffolk's beaches over the summer Picture: Neil Didsbury

Tourists flocked to Suffolk's beaches over the summer Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

It’s set to be a tough winter for Suffolk’s tourism industry following the new lockdown restrictions, but there are signs of optimism for next year according to those in the industry.

Pete Waters of Visit East Anglia. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Pete Waters of Visit East Anglia. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

After making a strong return this summer following the previous lockdown earlier this year, Suffolk’s tourism industry is preparing to fight back once again.

Many businesses, particularly on the coast, were able to make the most of a bumper influx of stay-at-home holidaymakers eager to enjoy the fresh air over the summer which helped to make up from the loss of revenue which lockdown caused at the start of the season.

However, many began to raise concerns last month as the traditional season ended as to what might come next with winter now seen as “uncharted territory.”

With further restrictions now in place for a month there remains some optimism about the end of this year and the beginning of 2021.

Pete Waters from Visit East of England said: “No lockdown is good for tourism, but faced with a resurgence of the pandemic and obvious concerns about public health and safety, this is the best the sector could have asked for.

“Businesses had a reasonable half term on top of a good summer season so we just keep our fingers crossed that they’ve generated enough revenue to tide them over into 2021.”

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Mr Waters said he still had hopes that venues could make money before the end of the year despite missing out on a month of trade.

“If the public adhere to the rules and we’re able to come out of this in early December, there is still a chance hospitality could benefit from Christmas but we’re aware that many festive events are already being cancelled,” said Mr Waters.

Even if this doesn’t turn out to be the case Mr Waters said that signs for next year already seemed positive.

“With people believing that overseas tourism won’t return anytime soon, accommodation pre-bookings for next year are going well as people make sure they get what they want for their family holiday,” said Mr Waters.

“The county’s destination marketing organisations continue to work well together and we hope that we’ll be able to relaunch Unexplored England in December to build demand and bookings for 2021.”

MORE: ‘I think now is the testing time’ - Coastal business make the most of post-lockdown staycations

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