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Bid to extend tourism season across east Suffolk’s coastal towns

PUBLISHED: 09:11 27 August 2017

Walkers enjoying the weather along Lowestoft seafront.  PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Walkers enjoying the weather along Lowestoft seafront. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Tourism chiefs in east Suffolk want to create an all-year-round visitor package by capitalising on the area’s natural beauty, seaside resorts, culture and heritage.

A sunny Southwold beach. Picture: Nick ButcherA sunny Southwold beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Waveney District and Suffolk Coastal councils have unveiled their joint, draft tourism strategy for 2017 to 2022, which aims to get people spending more time and money there.

In 2015, the visitor economy brought in half-a-billion-pounds to east Suffolk and generated 12,500 jobs.

Bosses want to hone in on this lucrative market by building on the key attractions which already pull in holidaymakers on a seasonal basis, like Southwold beach and pier, rowing on Oulton Broad, boating on Thorpeness Meare, the ‘House in the Clouds’ in Thorpeness, The Scallop sculpture on Aldeburgh beach and Snape Maltings.

Work will be done to promote east Suffolk as a hot spot for “active tourism”, such as cycling and walking, as well the place to go for the best food, drink and festivals.

Oulton Broad, Lowestoft. Picture: NICK BUTCHEROulton Broad, Lowestoft. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

A council report states: “This visitor economy strategy will build on our strengths and direct us to develop compelling offers for visitors and inward investors and that combine our unique natural assets and way of life with new and innovative visitor experiences, a well maintained infrastructure, and excellent destination marketing.

“Our key aims are to increase the volume and value of tourism, to extend the tourist season, to create compelling destinations and to link visitors more to experiences.”

The report, which will be presented to the councils’ cabinet members next month, outlines a number of projects to be undertaken over the next five years to boost tourism.

New boating lakes and wildlife havens are to be created in Southwold, and walking trails will be brought to Lowestoft seafront.

Southwold beach and pier. Picture: James BassSouthwold beach and pier. Picture: James Bass

There are plans to establish a more robust events programme at the Long Shop Museum in Leiston, as well as a tourist information centre in Framlingham.

Wickham Market could be getting a fresh website and mobile app, and an events and festival guide will be drawn up for Felixstowe.

Cycling facilities are set to be enhanced in Framlingham, Aldeburgh, Saxmundham and along the Deben Peninsula.

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