Tourism bosses buoyant as summer fizzles

SUFFOLK tourism industry is still on track for a successful summer despite predictions of a washout, a tourism boss claimed last night.

Anthony Bond

SUFFOLK tourism industry is still on track for a successful summer despite predictions of a washout, a tourism boss claimed last night.

Earlier in the year, the Met Office predicted a “barbecue summer” with hot and sunny weather.

And with the recession resulting in more people holidaying in the UK, Suffolk's tourism chiefs were hoping for a bumper summer of visitors.


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But yesterdaythe Met Office predicted that the planned “barbecue summer” had turned into something of a washout with August likely to be rainy.

However Choose Suffolk - which promotes tourism in the county - last night said it was not concerned by the forecasts as there was plenty of attractions and days out's on offer.

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Celia Hodson, Choose Suffolk's chief executive, said: “The quality of the offer is not affected by the weather. People plan holidays far in advance, particularly families fitting them in around school holidays. It is a rare opportunity for them to be together and enjoy quality time and that is what we are great at in Suffolk and a few spells of rain will not dampen spirits.”

Mrs Hodson said many things on offer included the National Stud Museum in Newmarket, Ickworth House and St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

“There is so much to see and people who run the attractions are pretty smart business people and they want visitors to come back year after year,” said Mrs Hodson. “They make sure that the experience the visitors have is a really good diverse one.”

The Met Office said yesterdaythat “for the rest of the summer, rainfall is likely to be near or above average over the UK and much of northern Europe”.

Temperatures were, however, “likely to be near or above” the August average of 14.7C (58.5F).

Last night, forecaster Jim Bacon, from Weatherquest, said he thinks it will be an “indifferent” month ahead.

“The long range forecasts that the Met Office issued is going for near or above average temperatures and near or above average rainfall,” he said.

“That does not say an awful lot other than one can imagine that conditions will be rather indifferent.

“The problem with weather when it is unsettled is that this is a day of rain and then day of fine and it is quite difficult to get the fine day to coincide with a weekend when most people want to do outdoor activities.”

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