Tourism chiefs gearing up for bumper weekend

TOURISM bosses across the region are hoping for an Easter boost this weekend as they get ready for one of their busiest times of year.

Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to attractions across Suffolk and Essex over the next four days as people look to take advantage of their extended time off work.

The Easter Bank Holiday is often seen as a spring board for the rest of the season and can be a good indicator of the year to come.

The tourism industry is worth billions of pounds to the region’s economy and bosses are hoping for a fine spell of weather that will tempt people out of their homes.

Celia Hodson, chief executive at Choose Suffolk, said: “The Easter weekend is a key period for the county’s tourism sector. In many ways it sets the scene and puts in place the foundations for the rest of the year.

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“Over the weekend, Suffolk can expect to attract first-time visitors from other parts of the country and it’s a great opportunity to show them the range of fantastic places to visit here.”

Top attractions across the region have a range of activities for the whole family and are hoping for a bumper weekend that will set the tone for the rest of the year.

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All 90 holiday cottages let by Best of Suffolk have been booked for the Easter weekend.

Director Naomi Tarry said: “Easter is a litmus test for the year ahead. Bringing so many people into the county for their holidays is great news for other tourism providers in Suffolk too, including the cafes, restaurants and attractions around the county.”

Fiona Siddall, farm manager at Easton Farm Park, near Wickham Market, said: “Easter is usually the busiest time of the year - particularly being a farm it’s fantastic because we have lambs, kid goats, baby chicks, everything that makes Easter fun. It’s the start of the season and key to the year.”

Patsy Cane, office manager at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket, said: “We are expecting a good turn out - over the last four year our visitors on Easter Sunday have more than doubled.”

Stanley Harris runs the amusements along Felixstowe seafront and this year has also organised a fun fair for Pier Bight and the Convalescent car park, which starts today.

He said: “We are looking forward to it. We have a couple of fresh attractions on the seafront - including a large carousel. There are lots of new things happening. It’s an exciting time.”

Stephen Bournes, owner of Southwold pier, said: “The weather is sort of picking up and we feel it will be a great weekend. We are looking forward to welcoming lots of people and families who will be enjoying Easter.”

Catharine Pusey, general manager at the National Trust’s Ickworth House, near Bury St Edmunds, said: “This is one of our busiest weekends of the year. We have our fingers crossed that it will stay dry but there are provisions in place if not. The gardens look absolutely gorgeous and we look forward to welcoming lots of people.”

At Clacton Pier in Essex Sharon Charters, from the accounts department, said it was not the “be all and end all” for the weather to be good, but said it would certainly make a big difference.

“We are hoping for a busy weekend – it is a very busy time of year – the summer holidays of course, but then the bank holidays and Easter weekend are amongst the busiest,” she said.

“We are hoping for good weather – that is the key – we do have the under cover attractions too if it does get cold and rainy but when the sun is out people head for Clacton.”

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