09 Oct It’s Time To Get Behind Norfolk And Show The World Why It’s A Great Place To Visit
Many of us locals know that Norfolk is a wonderful place to live. With famous big Norfolk skies, beautiful countryside, stunning coastlines and waterways, great local food and drink, lots of cultural and heritage attractions and a low crime rate, there’s plenty going for it. And it’s also one of the driest and sunniest places in the UK!
Given the above, it’s no wonder people want to come here on holiday too. We attended the VisitNorfolk autumn conference on 7th October 2014 and were told that tourism contributes £2.78bn to the Norfolk economy, with the sector boasting 7,000 businesses, employing 52,000 people. It’s second only to agriculture as the leading employer and income generator in Norfolk.
However, compared to some other popular tourism destinations in the UK, Norfolk lags behind, ranking 5th in a league table of people’s favourite holiday destinations, in a YouGov survey commission by Hoseasons.
So it’s great to hear that VisitNorfolk has revamped its website and launched a £50,000 advertising campaign called ‘There’s Nowhere Like Norfolk’, with a TV ad running on ITV Player and a poster campaign in London.
We hope it works. But in order to sustain this type of marketing to promote the county, encourage more spending visitors and build on current success, more private sector funding is needed to be secured over the next year, as in 2015 VisitNorfolk will see its public funding cut. This is potentially disastrous given its role in maintaining and growing this vitally important local industry.
However, all is not lost. Given so many businesses are involved in the industry, only a small percentage were able to attend the conference. There’s many reasons for this, but if tourism businesses are going to support some of this much needed funding, they not only need to be engaged, but need to be clearly shown the benefits they will receive for their investment.
So VisitNorfolk has to clearly provide the benefits and the tourism industry has to provide the passion, commitment and determination to move Norfolk up the holiday destination list.
The other challenge, as the likes of Cornwall has achieved, is not only to recruit new visitors, but to retain them and encourage them to recommend Norfolk to their family and friends.
Listening to speakers such as Tom Blofeld, founder of Bewilderwood and Hoseasons boss, Simon Altham this comes down to a commitment from businesses to invest in their brand and the quality of service, infrastructure and training. In today’s world of TripAdvisor reviews informing potential visitors of what they can find on their visit, this has never been more essential.
We’ll certainly add our support to promoting Norfolk. As a Norfolk based marketing agency, we’re passionate about supporting local businesses such as the Waveney River Centre, who are investing heavily in their facilities and focusing on quality throughout their business. We’re proud to have done our bit to raise the profile of the little known Boudicca Way footpath, both locally and nationally; recently named as one of the top 30 secret destinations in the world by the Lonely Planet Traveller magazine.
If you’re a Norfolk tourism business, make sure you find out more you speak to Pete Waters or Andrew Hird about what VisitNorfolk are trying to achieve and how they can help you which will ultimately benefit the county as a whole. There’s no time to lose to play your part in sustainably growing a vital part of our local economy.
Follow me on Twitter @communicateben courtesy of VisitNorfolk image library