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Larking Gowen’s 12th tourism survey to assess wellbeing of staff as well as businesses

PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:39 24 January 2018

Chris Scargill, tourism partner at Larking Gowen, with Harry Farrow, head chef at the Morston Anchor in north Norfolk. Picture: Sylvaine Poitau

Chris Scargill, tourism partner at Larking Gowen, with Harry Farrow, head chef at the Morston Anchor in north Norfolk. Picture: Sylvaine Poitau

Sylvaine Poitau

The wellbeing of the region’s tourism business owners will be scrutinised in an accountancy and business advice group’s annual survey of the industry.

Larking Gowen is encouraging a broad range of businesses to take part in its 12th tourism and leisure business survey, which launches this week.

As well gauging the health of East Anglia’s tourism sector – now estimated to be worth £10bn annually – the survey will provide a snapshot of business sentiment on subjects including Brexit, minimum wage increases, profit margins and the wellbeing of staff, managers and owners.

Sharyn Scott, business development manager at Larking Gowen, said questions on wellbeing had been included in the survey in response to indicators that businesses in the sector are “working harder for less profit”.

“Wellbeing is at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds now,” she said.

The firm is also encouraging more pubs, restaurants and other businesses serving food to take part in the survey.

“With pubs closing at such a rate of knots we would like to see what is happening in that sector, to see what people are doing to be innovative and keep customers coming in,” said Ms Scott.

Larking Gowen’s summer tourism snapshot survey indicated that a majority of businesses had performed better over the summer of 2017 than in the same period in 2016.

The company said recent figures showed many tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses finished 2017 on a high, reporting year-on-year growth in the final four months of up to 28%.

Ms Scott said: “There is still a trend for East Anglia being a year-round destination, for short breaks rather than longer holidays. It will be interesting to see if that has changed since the summer snapshot.”

She added that Larking Gowen would be watching the survey results to see if anecdotal evidence around profit and staff levels – which are thought to be suffering because of Brexit – proved to be true.

The survey is sponsored by Adnams, Camplings, Howes Percival and Hugh J Boswell and has ambassadors including Martin Dupee, chairman of Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Attractions Association, Greg Munford, chairman of Boards Tourism, and Tarnia Robertson, managing director of Ufford Park.

Take part in the tourism and leisure business survey here.

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