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Rain or shine, tourism businesses are geared to cater for it all

PUBLISHED: 15:32 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:43 09 August 2017

A family on the empty beach as the wind and rain hits Great Yarmouth sea front. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A family on the empty beach as the wind and rain hits Great Yarmouth sea front. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

Tourist attractions across East Anglia have been putting their rainy day plans into practice after the summer took a wet and windy turn this week.

An umbrella struggles against the wind and rain at Great Yarmouth sea front. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAn umbrella struggles against the wind and rain at Great Yarmouth sea front. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

August is typically the busiest time of the year for many tourist businesses and some of the region’s main attractions are having to revert to their plan B or introduce added incentives to keep customers happy on rainy days.

Wroxham Barns owner Ian Russell said after 35 years in business, they had a lot of experience in dealing with rainy conditions and the impact it had on tourism.

The wind and rain hits Great Yarmouth sea front. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe wind and rain hits Great Yarmouth sea front. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said: “We’re now a multi-attraction site to keep our visitors happy come rain or shine with things to do both indoors and out.

“There’s no such thing as perfect weather for tourism. For visitor attractions such as Wroxham Barns, if the weather is very hot then many visitors will choose to go to the beach to enjoy Norfolk’s glorious coast. The key thing is to offer a range of activities which we think we do pretty well here at the barns.”

Wroxham Barns owner Ian Russell. Picture: Antony KellyWroxham Barns owner Ian Russell. Picture: Antony Kelly

Pleasurewood Hills marketing and sales manager Kate Wood said the recent rains were not great for business. The company recently introduced a rainy day guarantee which allows visitors affected by rain to return within a month free of charge. She said: “April, May and June were fantastic for us. We introduced a rainy day guarantee three months ago but hadn’t really needed to make a noise about it until now. You need to do these types of things to encourage people to come.”

The rains are not bad news for everyone. Chris Carr, director of operations at JR’s in North Walsham said they had created a fun, family indoor destination whatever the weather. “When the weather isn’t so good outside we do benefit from increased footfall and the site is very busy right now which is good news. But of course when the weather’s particularly nice some of our visitors may choose outdoor activities instead. We try not to get too hung-up with the weather and focus on offering a quality visitor experience.”

James Knight at Waveney River Centre. Photo: ArchantJames Knight at Waveney River Centre. Photo: Archant

James Knight of Broads hire boat company River Waveney Centre said the region had enjoyed a year of settled weather, but the recent rains had not put people off boating holidays on the water. “Our guests know that the great British weather is a bit of a lottery, but it doesn’t seem to spoil their enjoyment and they’re still talking about coming back next year,” he said.

Chris Carr, director of operations at JR’s in North Walsham. Picture: Courtesy Chris CarrChris Carr, director of operations at JR’s in North Walsham. Picture: Courtesy Chris Carr

Rainy day guarantee

Set within 52 acres of enclosed coastal parkland in Lowestoft, Pleasurewood Hills Family Theme Park is one tourist attraction which is largely reliant on good weather.

Pleasurewood Hills marketing and sales manager Kate Wood. Picture: Pleasurewood HillsPleasurewood Hills marketing and sales manager Kate Wood. Picture: Pleasurewood Hills

Many of the rides like the Marble Madness rollercoaster or Wipeout are uncovered.

Pleasurewood Hills marketing and sales manager Kate Wood said rain was never a good thing for the business.

To overcome this, the company has introduced a rainy day guarantee which is available to visitors who buy tickets online or at the gate.

Mrs Wood said: “We introduced it three months ago but hadn’t really needed to make a noise about it until now. If you buy your ticket online and it rains for more than 90 minutes consecutively we will email you a ticket which you can use to come back within a month.”

She said anyone buying their ticket at the gate could opt to purchase a £2 insurance policy which would also allow them to receive a ticket which could also be redeemed within a month in the event of rain.

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