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Key changes to Broads Tourism announced as organisation faces bright future

PUBLISHED: 07:15 22 February 2018

Broads Tourism Members meeting and AGM at The Ivy House Country Hotel. Greg Munford. Picture: Nick Butcher

Broads Tourism Members meeting and AGM at The Ivy House Country Hotel. Greg Munford. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Key changes to senior management of Broads Tourism were announced at the organisation’s AGM on Wednesday (February 21).

Broads Tourism Members meeting and AGM at The Ivy House Country Hotel.
Picture: Nick ButcherBroads Tourism Members meeting and AGM at The Ivy House Country Hotel. Picture: Nick Butcher

Chair Greg Munford, who is also the chief executive of Richardsons, is stepping down after two years of heading the group and will be replaced by Waveney River Centre director Ruth Knight.

Mrs Knight’s position as chair of the marketing steering group will be taken by Amanda Mason of Potter Heigham-based boatyard Herbert Woods. Mr Munford has been credited with tripling the organisation’s membership when he took over in 2016 from 50 members to 155 today.

Speaking at the AGM held at Ivy House Country Hotel near Oulton Broad, Mr Munford said he was proud that Broads Tourism had focussed equally on promoting the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

“One of the big things Broads Tourism has been about is making sure we all understand our area and our businesses and by promoting other businesses and promoting the area we have grown.”

Ruth Knight, Chair of Broads Tourism.
Picture: Nick ButcherRuth Knight, Chair of Broads Tourism. Picture: Nick Butcher

He said a drive in recruitment of tourism businesses in Suffolk had helped grow membership while the recent Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards, in which Suffolk attractions won nine of the 12 categories, had highlighted just how much the county had to offer.

“It also gives us the unique factor that we (Broads Tourism) cover two counties,” he said.

Mr Munford said he was also proud of the closer alliance that had been formed with Broads Tourism and the Broads Authority under his tenure. He described it as a “really important relationship” that ensured protection of the Broads while at the same time attracting visitors to the area.

He said there had also been an increase in collaboration between businesses.

Amanda Mason, Chair of marketing steering group for Broads Tourism.
Picture: Nick ButcherAmanda Mason, Chair of marketing steering group for Broads Tourism. Picture: Nick Butcher

“Never before have I seen so many businesses in the Broads talking to each other. By talking to other businesses and sharing in their knowledge I think it gives you a great opportunity to grow your own business.”

However, he felt one of the biggest reasons for the organisation’s significant growth was a May 2016 decision taken by members to unite behind the Broads National Park brand.

“It gave us a real purpose to get behind and the results have allowed our businesses to prosper.”

Bright future for Broads Tourism

Waveney River Centre director Ruth Knight is no stranger to the Broads.

Before starting the business with husband James Knight in 2003, she worked for Herbert Woods in a marketing role.

Mrs Knight held the role of chair of the marketing steering group for Broads Tourism until yesterday when it was announced she would take over from Greg Munford in heading up the organisation.

She said one of her key focus areas would be on making the Broads “a more year round destination”.

Herbert Woods marketing director Amanda Mason has been with the company for seven years and with Broads Tourism for three.

She said she planned to build on the “solid grounding” built over the past two years to expand membership.

“I want to look at ways we can not only increase membership of the organisation, but also at ways in which we can add more value to our members.”

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