March 8 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 13, 2013
A new seafront business improvement district (Bid) would significantly boost funding available for marketing and staging new events in Great Yarmouth.
More than 200 tourism professionals attending the launch of the resort’s 2014 brochure yesterday were told that a draft business plan for the Bid would be published next month and the initiative could be running in time for next season.
Under the rules, all tourism businesses will be invited to take part in a ballot and the Bid will only go ahead if a majority vote in favour.
It would mean all seafront operators paying an additional sum in their business rates towards a programme of agreed improvements designed to boost tourism – currently membership of the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority (GYTA) is voluntary so the amount raised by subscriptions is limited to those signing up. The Sealife Centre meeting was told that consultation and preparatory work had been carried out by the Mosaic Partnership which had been successful in establishing Bids across the country, including recent ones at Bournemouth and Dartmouth.
Its research showed 80pc of Yarmouth tourism businesses wanted more money spent on marketing while 70pc felt more events would boost trade.
GYTA board member David Marsh said: “With local authority funding under its greatest threat there has never been a more opportune time to look to a Bid.”
He said the additional sum paid by businesses would be 1.5pc of their rateable value; that meant that for nearly 1,000 businesses the extra charge would amount to no more than £150.
He said: “If we get the yes vote, that will mean generating £480,000 a year or £2.4m over the five year life of the Bid.”
Highlighting the importance of their industry, GYTA chief executive Alan Carr revealed tourism was now worth £550m to the local economy and provided jobs for nearly one third of the borough’s workforce.
Yarmouth mayor John Burroughs unveiled the new brochure, the cover of which focuses on traditional British beach fun, confirming the continuing trend for ‘daycation’ and ‘staycation’.
Marketing officer Kirsty Burn underlined the growing significance of online marketing and predicted the success of a recently launched Great Yarmouth tourism app
A “shoo-before-shooting” policy to control pigeons has been described by a leading Norfolk farmer as “completely bonkers”.