Wednesday, December 12, 2012
More than 200 tourism professionals packed Great Yarmouth’s revamped St George’s Theatre on Tuesday for the launch of the resort’s 2013 brochure.
Mayor Colleen Walker took to the stage of the grade one listed venue, reopened in November after a multi-million pound restoration, to unveil the eagerly awaited art deco style cover.
On the same day, Yarmouth Hippodrome Circus owner Peter Jay held a photo call to promote his Christmas circus, one of the resort’s entertainment highlights of the year.
Following the unveiling of the brochure, its design reflecting growing nostalgia for childhood holidays, guests at the theatre were treated to the premiere of Yarmouth’s 2013 television advert filmed at a range of locations over the summer.
Michael Jeal, cabinet member for tourism, highlighted the enduring economic impact of tourism to the resort which receives more than five million visitors a year, bringing £531m to the local economy.
More than 10,000 people are employed in tourism - nearly 30pc of the town’s workforce.
Mr Jeal said: “This year will be remembered for the success of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic and Paralympic games. The weather had an impact on the start of the season in Yarmouth but the summer and early autumn saw the resort celebrating in style with a host of events from the Olympic torch relay and Tour of Britain cycle race to the Maritime Festival.”
Head of tourism Alan Carr described it as a “year of ups and downs”, seafront car park figures showing a marked fall in April and October, but overall remaining comparable to the previous two years.
He highlighted the positive impact of Wednesday night fireworks during the summer holidays on the number of visitor cars.
He said: “Next year will bring fresh challenges, not least retaining the funding and sponsorship to enable us to bring another season of exciting events.”
Marketing manager Kirsty Burn described how Yarmouth’s official tourism website had gone from strength to strength with 560,000 unique visitors over the past 11 months, up significantly from last year’s 433,000.
Circus stars from all over the world are gathering in Yarmouth for Hippodrome’s Christmas Spectacular, which runs from Saturday to January 13.
A daring motorcycle act, the Globe Bikers from Bulgaria and Brazil, are joined by the Wolf family from the Czech Republic, the first ladder balancing act to appear at the Hippodrome.
Closer to home, Norwich’s Chermond Circus Academy will be performing.