ExCel show gives boost to Broads tourism

Bruce Hanson, BA tourism officer and Sam Bates, BA visitor services supervisor.

Bruce Hanson, BA tourism officer and Sam Bates, BA visitor services supervisor. - Credit: Archant

Tourism leaders have returned jubilant from ExCeL London after showcasing the Broads at the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show.

For the second year running, Stalham-based Richardson's, the Broads' biggest hire boat operator, teamed up with the Broads Authority (BA) and sponsored a stand.

The event was the first opportunity to promote the Broads as a national park since the new branding was agreed earlier this year.

The main aim of the display, which featured images of the Broads and its new branding, was to promote the destination's lesser known walking, cycling and canoeing opportunities.

Bruce Hanson, the BA's tourism officer, said: 'I was pleased with the attendance last year but this year was significantly busier. It was several shows in one and was packed on the Saturday and Sunday. Our stand was in a much better location this year and we were the only national park to be represented, which really pulled people in.'

Richardson's not only helped staff the BA stand but also provided a competition prize of a £500 voucher for one of its boating holidays. It attracted more than 600 entries.

Richardson's CEO Greg Munford said: 'Teaming up with the Broads Authority and other partners gives us the opportunity to go to places where, individually, we may not be able to. It allows us to reach out to a much wider audience.'

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The stand promoted the fifth Broads Outdoors Festival, a key shoulder season event for businesses taking place from Saturday May 2 to Sunday May 17.

The two week festival, organised by Broads Tourism and the BA, already promises to be bigger than ever, culminating in the first Broads triathlon and launching with the popular Horning Boat Show.

Food and drink will be a theme throughout the 15 days with eateries being encouraged to put on special festival dishes, drinks, cakes or offers.

The festival is sponsored by Hoseasons and supported by media partner Archant which will be distributing the festival brochure in the EDP in the weeks running up to the start.

Do you have a successful Broads business? Email stephen.pullinger@archant.co.uk or call 01603-772446.