Drive to draw more Dutch visitors to the region thought to have brought £2.3m boost

Left to right, Visit East Anglia executive director Pete Waters, British Ambassador to the Netherlan

Left to right, Visit East Anglia executive director Pete Waters, British Ambassador to the Netherlands Sir Geoffrey Adams and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership managing director Chris Starkie outside the Residency with the Lotus Elise and Evora. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of Dutch visitors have sampled what the region has to offer thanks to a tourism campaign which is thought to have generated an extra £2.3m.

Visit East Anglia's (VEA) GREAT Dutch campaign, launched in the New Year, targeted the Netherlands with online promotional films and itineraries, as well as digital advertising in the country's media.

A survey undertaken since suggests that 11,068 trips were directly influenced by the campaign, made up of 8,093 overnight stays and 2,975 day trips.

It is thought these generated just under £2.3m – which is 21 times the original investment of £106,000.

Pete Waters, executive director of VEA, said: 'This was a significant campaign for Visit East Anglia, Visit Norfolk and Visit Suffolk, the first overseas promotion for the region since the demise of the East of England Tourist Board over six years ago, so we're thrilled with the results.

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'It demonstrates that with careful planning, intelligent targeting, and working with such a significant global brand as GREAT, that a little marketing money can go a long way.

'It also proves that if we can put our unrivalled tourism offering in front of potential visitors we can encourage them to travel here.'

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Just under a fifth of those surveyed, 19pc, said they had visited, or planned to visit, Norwich, with 13pc answering Ipswich.

The most popular tourist attractions came in as Norwich Cathedral, Holkham Hall and Blakeney Point.

As part of the scheme, organised as part of Visit Britain's GREAT Britain initiative, a showcase event was also held at the British Embassy Residency at The Hague.

When the project was launched, it was hoped it would raise the number of visitors from the Netherlands by 2pc, equating to about £1m for the local economy.

• Do you have a tourism story for us? Email correspondent Lauren Cope on

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