Why Bury St Edmunds is growing in popularity as a place to visit

Bury St Edmunds enjoyed a record-breaking year for tourism in 2017 Picture: TOM SOPER

Bury St Edmunds enjoyed a record-breaking year for tourism in 2017 Picture: TOM SOPER

Tom Soper

Bury St Edmunds enjoyed a record-breaking year for tourism in 2017 with more visitors to the historic town than ever before, latest figures have revealed.

The Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds Picture: MARTIN GRAYLINGThe Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds Picture: MARTIN GRAYLING

The value of the town’s tourism economy rose £2.7million last year to a new high of £49.9m, up 5.8% on 2016, while the number of trips to Bury grew by 11.4% to 829,000.

The booming tourism was also reflected in the number of people staying overnight in the town, which increased by 7.4% to 73,000, and in day trips, with 756,000 last year – 11.8% more than 2016.

The latest figures, from the town’s tourism brand Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, which launched last year, also revealed visitor spending was up by 6% last year from 2016.

Sue Warren, brand and marketing manager for Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, said the organisation’s website had also seen a rise of 53% in online visitors.

Christmas shoppers hit Bury St Edmunds town centre.Christmas shoppers hit Bury St Edmunds town centre.

“Tourism in Bury St Edmunds is growing,” she said. “You only have to see the increased number of visitors to the official tourism website coupled with the latest visitor statistics to see that this is such a growth area.

“Accommodation providers in the area are responding to demand by increasing bed capacity, investing in refurbishing their properties and building new properties to accommodate visitors.

“It proves that our funding partners, who had the foresight to set up Bury St Edmunds and Beyond as the official marketing organisation for the town and surrounding area, were right to invest in the future as this is a growing industry vital to our local economy.

“Not only do visitors bring business to the town and beyond but tourism is also responsible for over 1,000 jobs here.”

Bury St Edmunds town centre.Bury St Edmunds town centre.

Mark Cordell, chief executive for Our Bury St Edmunds BID, said it was positive to see so many visitors coming to the town in challenging times for town centre businesses.

“It’s tremendous news that Bury continues to be one of the top visitor destinations in the region,” he said.

“We are absolutely delighted with the excellent work that Sue Warren has done promoting Bury as a town – predominately via digital marketing.

“In a challenging environment for businesses, it’s great that so many people want to see everything that Bury St Edmunds has to offer.”

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