Broads hire boat company to invest £350,000 in new day boats
PUBLISHED: 09:26 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 20:04 23 January 2018
A leading Broads hire boat company is to invest £350,000 in building five new day boats in time for the holiday season as it anticipates a rise in visitor numbers.
Herbert Woods, based in Potter Heigham, will use the money to double the number of picnic boats, ‘Starlight 24’ in its fleet to 10.
Michael Whitaker, partner of Herbert Woods said: “The Starlight 24 Picnic Boats have been so successful that we will be investing £350,000 into building a further five picnic boats in time for the Easter holidays.
“The picnic boat is designed to suit the day hire market perfectly and we believe it has revolutionised the day hire market with its on board facilities.”
With enough space for up to 10 people and two pets, the 24ft boat comprises many features that you would typically find in a modern holiday cruiser.
They include a gas hob, sink, fridge, hot and cold water, heating and a toilet.
Made from fibre glass, Starlight 24, is easy to steer and offers full views front and back.
It also has a twin-slide canopy and a forward sun-deck for day trippers to take advantage of sunny weather, together with comfortable seating areas.
Mr Whitaker said: “Herbert Woods pioneered the ‘Starlight’ picnic boat in the 1930’s and I think he would have been delighted to see his first design transcended into what we have here today.”
Amanda Mason, marketing director of Herbert Woods, said the company had experienced an excellent start to 2018 with bookings in January 55pc up on the same period last year.
“We are also predicting a rise in the days out market based on our significant increase in growth in this market last year.”
Figures from VisitBritain show that between January and September 2017, there were a record 1.9m inbound visits to the East of England while visitors to the region spent £646m over that period.
Around 7.5m overnight trips to the region were recorded by local visitors, who spent £1.4bn.
VisitBritain director Patricia Yates said: “Tourism is one of our most valuable export industries and we are forecasting that growth will continue in 2018, with 41.7m overseas visits to the UK and visitors spending almost £27b.”