New campaign launched today - tell us what Norfolk is... to you
- Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC
What place or activity in Norfolk most encapsulates how you feel about our fine county?
The Eastern Daily Press is today launching a new campaign asking readers to capture through words, pictures or video the reasons why Norfolk is such a special place to live or visit.
As part of the Norfolk is... campaign we want you to share your experiences of Norfolk through words, photos and videos in order to help our readers find new areas of our county to explore.
The hope is that by encouraging others to get out and about in this fine county, we can give our tourism industry, and the many businesses that rely on it, a massive boost.
It could be that you write to us a few hundred words about your favourite beach. Or perhaps you will send a photo of yourself or your family at the place where you share the happiest memories.
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Maybe you will be moved to send in a video of your favourite activity in the county. Or it could just be a simple tweet outlining your favourite spot.
Whatever or wherever in Norfolk makes you feel at your happiest, we want to hear about it.
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The call to arms forms part of our successful and long-running Holiday Here campaign, which has the aim of encouraging people to support the tourism industry by making the most of the many attractions this county has to offer.
Over the next few weeks we will take your words, pictures and videos and share them through the paper, its website and Mustard TV.
Tourism is vital to the Norfolk economy. It is worth an estimated £2.6bn and provides employment for over 50,000 people directly, as well as tens of thousands more indirectly.
Chris Starkie, programme director of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), gave his backing to the Norfolk is... campaign, stating that tourism is one of the LEP's priority areas.
He said today: 'Tourism by any definition is a really focal industry for Norfolk, both in the numbers of people it employs directly but also the other industries and facilities in the county.
'The greatest advocates of Norfolk are the people who live in Norfolk so I think this is a fantastic way of promoting the county, by getting people to think of all the things on their doorstep that we sometimes don't always appreciate.'
When asked what Norfolk is... to him, Mr Starkie, who lives in Hethersett in south Norfolk, said: 'One of the fantastic things about Norfolk is there are such a variety of different attractions and things to do, so for me Norfolk is a combination of things.
'We have fantastic beaches, the amazing scenery of the Broads and Brecks and the urban city life of Norwich.
'Very few other parts of the country have that combination. We are very fortunate to have such variety.
'People in Norfolk are very proud of the county but can be a bit reticent about singing its praises and quite like Norfolk being a bit of a bit of an undiscovered jewel and being a bit mysterious.
'But that is good too, because we don't want it to be spoiled in any way.'
The Norfolk is... campaign was launched online on Friday and, as pictured below, there has already been all manner of suggestions posted on social networking website Twitter.
Wroxham Barns director Ian Russell said: 'I think it's a really good idea. Looking at all the different accounts reminds you of the extent of diversity we have in the county, both for natural and built tourism.
'It reminds those of us who live and work in Norfolk of all that's around us and is there for us to enjoy, because we do take it for granted sometimes.'
Mr Russell added: 'The dilemma for me is there are so many favourites but in terms of built environment I would probably choose Norwich and Cathedral Close, which is just stunning.
'And in terms of natural environment it will have to be the Broads, although equally Holkham beach is lovely.'
Norwich South MP Simon Wright is another to give his backing to the campaign, saying: 'I think it's a brilliant idea.
'We have an awful lot to shout about as a county and the city of Norwich.'
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, whose constituency is estimated to generate around £500m from tourism each year, said Norfolk can be proud of its varies tourism attractions.
'We're very, very lucky in Norfolk,' said Mr Lewis. 'Last year I went across to Sandringham for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and you realise how fabulous the county is.
'My son likes bird-watching and we have been up to Cley and Cromer and I realised that we don't always credit just how beautiful our county is.'
Now we want to year from you about what it is that means Norfolk is such a great place to live and visit.
You can get involved with the discussions on Twitter using the hashtag #Norfolkis or email your suggestions to reporter David Freezer on email@example.com, making sure to provide your name, age and location.
Or send us your photos and videos at www.iwitness24.co.uk with a few words to explain how it relates to the campaign. Or write to us at Norfolk is… Campaign, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.