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East Anglia tourism businesses bask in big success of bank holiday

PUBLISHED: 07:46 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 07:57 31 August 2017

Simon Altham of Hoseasons. Picture: Hoseasons

Simon Altham of Hoseasons. Picture: Hoseasons

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One of the UK’s largest self-catering holiday businesses said occupancy rates in the East of England over the August bank holiday weekend had been the highest in the country across its business units.

Hoseasons at Lowestoft. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYHoseasons at Lowestoft. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Hoseasons said the bank holiday weekend had been a big success, with the region leading the way in bookings.

The company said while the weather had played a role, most of the bookings had been made in advance.

Simon Altham, of Hoseasons, said: “Bank holiday bookings in the UK have been very strong for the business, with a 12pc increase in sales across all of the our domestic regions over the three day period.

“However the real standout has been East of England, which includes Norfolk and Suffolk, as we’ve seen occupancy levels in our parks, boats and cottages at an amazing 97pc over the weekend.

People enjoying the sunshine on Wells beach on August bank holiday Monday, 2017. Picture: NIKKI HEDGESPeople enjoying the sunshine on Wells beach on August bank holiday Monday, 2017. Picture: NIKKI HEDGES

“The weather, as always, plays a role in the impact of our sales, but most of these bookings were made well before we knew whether the sun was going to shine, and have a great deal more to do with the innovation and quality of the holiday experience on offer.”

He said the region was gaining in popularity as a holiday destination.

He said: “I believe the demand we are seeing for holidays in the county undoubtedly shows Norfolk really is at the cutting edge of UK tourism, and how much can be achieved when the industry works together.

“We’ve yet to see the full picture for the whole summer, as we’ve a week to go before the end of the traditional peak school holidays, but the weekend has certainly given everyone in the industry a welcome boost and enabled us to show the county in the best possible light.”

Visit East Anglia chief executive Pete Waters said: “The last bank holiday weekend of the summer was a great success, with good weather attracting more people to Norfolk, particularly to the coast.

“Accommodation providers are reporting good if not record occupancy levels so we’ve had an excellent end to the holidays.”

Caitlin Eisenmann of Love Glamping said they had experienced a 28pc year-on-year increase in enquiries for accommodation compared with last year.

She said: “Glamping is a growing industry and also a late booking market which often depends on the weather at the time.”

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