In Graphics: The economic importance of region’s tourism industry revealed
07:00 01 April 2014
Confidence rises across tourism industry
Rising optimism among the region’s tourism businesses is likely to benefit the wider economy, it is claimed.
Larking Gowen’s Tourism Business Survey found that nearly six out of 10 holiday-related businesses are planning to put up wages and take on extra staff amid rising turnovers and increased profits.
Chris Scargill, Larking Gowen’s tourism partner, said “My view is that the extra pound in the pocket is bound to boost the feel-good factor across Norfolk and Suffolk.”
Copies of the annual survey, which examines important trends in the industry, will be handed out at today’s Visit Norfolk Spring Tourism Conference at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.
Further evidence of a resurgence in confidence comes in the survey’s findings that investment both in infrastructure and marketing and promotion is on the up.
However, Mr Scargill added the important caveat that “where there are winners there are also losers”.
“With such an eclectic mix of businesses, the tourism offer in Norfolk and Suffolk will always mean that not everyone will see success,” he added.
Key aims of the survey are to provide valuable data against which businesses can benchmark their own performance and to highlight issues – such as the need to improve infrastructure and broadband speeds – that can be used in lobbying decision makers at local and governmental level.
This year’s survey sends a clear message to politicians to take the region’s number one industry more seriously with 78pc of businesses feeling the government does not provide enough support to the travel and tourism sector – and 60pc believing all political parties are indifferent to their needs.
On top of marketing spend increasing, the survey shows tourism businesses embracing social media and travel review websites with much greater intent.
Despite rising optimism, 56pc of tourism businesses are still worried about the state of the UK economy and half see weather as a make-or-break factor in the type of season they will have.
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