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Holiday firms report a summer of satisfaction, though confidence dips

PUBLISHED: 08:53 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:05 11 October 2017

The premier of the Visit Norfolk films to promote Norfolk - Pete Waters speaks. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The premier of the Visit Norfolk films to promote Norfolk - Pete Waters speaks. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

More than three-quarters of business owners who took part in a tourism survey said they were satisfied with their performance over the summer - but confidence levels have dropped.

August Bank Holiday Weather pictures of people enjoying the hot weather on the river at Coltishall
Picture: Nick Butcher August Bank Holiday Weather pictures of people enjoying the hot weather on the river at Coltishall Picture: Nick Butcher

Participants in the Visit Norfolk Tourism Business Confidence Monitor said booking and visitor numbers were up over the period, but despite this the survey revealed confidence levels were lower than last year.

The results follow recent figures from Visit Suffolk which show overseas tourist numbers rose 10% in the past year, against a national average of 4%, boosted by campaigns in the Netherlands and North America.

Visit Norfolk manager Pete Waters said faltering confidence levels could be down to current uncertainty plaguing the country.

“Generally the survey figures are very positive for Norfolk tourism, but there is nonetheless a lot of uncertainty about the future regarding Brexit, the government, interest rates and the economy, and this reflected in our figures,” he said.

Chris Green fishing with his dog Bailey on the river at Coltishall on the August  Bank Holday.
Picture: Nick Butcher Chris Green fishing with his dog Bailey on the river at Coltishall on the August Bank Holday. Picture: Nick Butcher

“However, confidence levels in Norfolk tourism are outstripping the national average.”

The survey revealed that the percentage of participants who were “very satisfied” with their recent performance over the summer months was down from last year (39% compared to 46%) while those who were “quite satisfied” rose to 45% from 41%.

Mr Waters said this could be attributed to a “mixed summer” season for businesses.

“While many hospitality providers talked of record occupancy levels, some attractions had reported fewer visitor numbers when compared to last year,” he said.

August Bank Holiday Weather pictures of people enjoying the hot weather on the river at Coltishall. Alan and Helen Snell with children Ruby and Jodi enjoying an ice cream.
Picture: Nick Butcher August Bank Holiday Weather pictures of people enjoying the hot weather on the river at Coltishall. Alan and Helen Snell with children Ruby and Jodi enjoying an ice cream. Picture: Nick Butcher

“Encouragingly, as we look to promote the year-round visitor economy, the 2017 performance year-to-date is above 2016 both in terms of businesses who are ‘very satisfied’ and ‘quite satisfied’.”

Mr Waters said the latest survey gave cause for optimism following figures which recently showed the county’s visitor economy had grown to a new record high of £3.15bn in 2016.

“In the short term, Brexit has given us a boost in terms of more overseas visitors and more staycations, but we don’t know what will happen in the future. However, across the sector we are seeing continued investment in product, both from accommodation providers and visitor attractions, and that can only be a good sign.”

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