Campaign to make North Norfolk a holiday haven all year round

A major campaign is being planned to promote North Norfolk as an all-year-round tourism venue.

The initiative aims to show the area is more than just the sea and sand summer destination it has been for generations of trippers.

It will focus on North Norfolk's other attractions such as arts, outdoor activities, bird watching, food and drink, heritage and gardening.

The move comes as the district is already strengthening its tourism hand with this weekend's Crab and Lobster festival and autumn arts and food and drink festivals.

Over the next three years, starting this June, however the campaign will push six themes, which aim to boost the local economy by increasing the number of 'out of season' visitors, filling vacancies in the accommodation sector's quieter times and encouraging environmental-friendly tourism.

The initiative is being driven by the local tourism round table, which is part of the broader North Norfolk Business Forum.

Its chairman Ian Doughty said the 'extensive and ambitious project' was aimed at attracting more people to the area, and making sure the accommodation and attractions were geared up for them.

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'Tourism is a crucial sector for the district and promoting it is a top level strategic objective for the district council.

'This is a two-sided initiative promoting the area, its accommodation and attractions to a wider audience, and making sure those businesses are open when they arrive.'

The campaign would exploit the abundance of bird and wild life, the beauty of its countryside, the wealth of art galleries and the growing number of first class chefs within its borders.

It is being delivered by marketing company Boudicca Marketing, with a working title of NorthNorfolk365, and the six themes are:

? music, theatre and the arts

? families with children under 5

? sports and outdoor activities

? twitchers and wildlife

? food and drink

? heritage, walks and gardens

The �60,000 project, half of which is covered by a grant from the Rural Development Partnership, covers an area from King's Lynn to Great Yarmouth and the Broads.

Director Matt Doughty said the aim was fill the quieter periods, such as between Easter and the start of the summer season.

'It is a time when the weather can be good, the attractions are open but not many people are around, because the school holidays have not started.'

By targeting families with pre-school age children, and niche interests such as nature and culture it was hoped to bring in more people, mainly from across the East of England, for short staycation breaks.

Spreading them across the year, and promoting the use of rail, cycle and bus travel, meant it was also environmentally-sustainable.

The campaign was 'an ambitious project that required coordinated effort', involved new promotional material, and online resources, along with promotions and competitions, said Mr Doughty.

It had already received strong interest from a number of tourism based businesses and media partners, he added.

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