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New pass could be just the ticket for tourism in north Norfolk, businesses agree

PUBLISHED: 10:46 13 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:46 13 March 2016

Tourism fair at Sheringham Community Centre to promote tourism in the Sheringham and the surrounding area. Pictured are Tracey Stachini and Amanda Walker of Herbert Woods with Michael Savory of the Muckleburgh Collection. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Tourism fair at Sheringham Community Centre to promote tourism in the Sheringham and the surrounding area. Pictured are Tracey Stachini and Amanda Walker of Herbert Woods with Michael Savory of the Muckleburgh Collection. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

A new pass could be produced to encourage more visitors to stay in north Norfolk for longer this summer.

The single ticket, designed to give tourists access to a number of attractions in return for a one-off payment, was one of the ideas being explored at the North Norfolk Tourism Fair in Sheringham yesterday (Wednesday).

With uncertainty over safety in some hotspots abroad and plans to rebrand the area the Deep History Coast, it is hoped it could encourage more people to holiday at home.

Sir Michael Savory, owner of the Muckleburgh Collection - one of the largest collections of military vehicles in the country - at Weybourne, revealed he supported the idea.

“We’ve got to get a lot smarter in terms of trying to integrate more tourist attractions,” he said.

“One of the ideas we are looking at would be allowing visitors to buy a compendium ticket which would give them access to two or three given locations in an area - for example, the North Norfolk Railway, the Muckleburgh Collection and one of the local hotels.

“And to try to get some of the tourism providers, namely the coach groups, to sell that as a package deal.

“It would work in exactly the same way as the tours give you when you go overseas. We’re not there yet in the UK but we are talking together.

“Part of the tourism fair’s purpose is to try to integrate that relationship.”

But he added: “It may need the tourist information offices and the local authorities to knock a few heads together. Most of us are independent entrepreneurs and we don’t tend to converse. We guard our own little bit of territory and we don’t realise that by merging our proposals with our neighbours we will all benefit from it, not least from getting more visitors in.”

More than 20 local businesses were represented at the tourism fair, now in its second year.

And they revealed they are expecting an increase in staycationers - people who holiday at home.

Organiser Paul Richmond, who runs online marketing agency Experience Sheringham, said: “With everything that is going on in the world, there is a little bit of fear and uncertainty about what the experience might be like for holidaymakers in parts of Europe, I think it is beginning to make people think about turning back to this country again. And we’re really fortunate in Norfolk because we have so much to offer.

“It’s the type of place people just keep coming back and revisiting but also, through these group travel operators, the aim is to bring new people who have never had the experience of Norfolk and hopefully they will come again and again.”

Earlier this month it was announced, an ambitious project, gathering momentum, could see north Norfolk’s coastline become the region’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Work has begun on branding a stretch from West Runton to Happisburgh as the Deep History Coast, reflecting its global importance in the story of life on earth.

And, alongside this, North Norfolk District Council chiefs are gathering evidence and expert opinion to back a possible bid for World Heritage Site status.

Mr Richmond added: “There is a demand for heritage and the Deep History Coast has the potential to attract visitors from all around the world.”

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