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Tourism businesses believe government could do more to support promotion of the area, survey finds

PUBLISHED: 08:39 21 April 2016 | UPDATED: 08:39 21 April 2016

The audience at the Larking Gowen Tourism survey results seminar. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The audience at the Larking Gowen Tourism survey results seminar. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2016

The majority of tourism businesses in the region believe the government does not do enough to support promotion of the area.

The Larking Gowen Tourism survey results seminar. Becky Ames of Larking Gowen. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Larking Gowen Tourism survey results seminar. Becky Ames of Larking Gowen. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The 2016 Larking Gowen Tourism Business Survey found that 81pc of its 350 participants from Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex think the government could do more to support the sector.

The figure was announced yesterday at a presentation of the results at Octagon Barn in Great Plumstead, which marked the survey’s 10th year.

It also revealed 57pc of those believe no political party stood out as being supportive of tourism.

During the presentation, Pete Waters, executive director of Visit East Anglia, said the private sector would need to step in and fill the gap left by cuts in government funding and stressed the need to develop a year-round economy.

The audience at the Larking Gowen Tourism survey results seminar. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe audience at the Larking Gowen Tourism survey results seminar. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said: “We are open for 12 months of the year and the more that we can develop that economy the better for all of us.”

He said the tourism industry – which is worth almost £3bn in Norfolk alone – should not “hide its light under a bushel”.

Converting those coming to the area for day trips into staying visitors would also be vital to growth, he said – just a 2pc increase would bring with it a boost of £21m.

The presentation – there will be a second today in Suffolk, also heard that 64pc of businesses last year saw an increase in customers booking late.

The trend was put down to the continued growth of booking online, allowing breaks to be chosen much nearer the time.

The presentation also heard from Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams, and David Attew, owner of Deer’s Glade caravan park and camping site in north Norfolk.

Do you have a tourism story for us? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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