Holiday firms report a summer of satisfaction, though confidence dips
- Credit: Matthew Usher
More than three-quarters of business owners who took part in a tourism survey said they were satisfied with their performance over the summer - but confidence levels have dropped.
Participants in the Visit Norfolk Tourism Business Confidence Monitor said booking and visitor numbers were up over the period, but despite this the survey revealed confidence levels were lower than last year.
The results follow recent figures from Visit Suffolk which show overseas tourist numbers rose 10% in the past year, against a national average of 4%, boosted by campaigns in the Netherlands and North America.
Visit Norfolk manager Pete Waters said faltering confidence levels could be down to current uncertainty plaguing the country.
'Generally the survey figures are very positive for Norfolk tourism, but there is nonetheless a lot of uncertainty about the future regarding Brexit, the government, interest rates and the economy, and this reflected in our figures,' he said.
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'However, confidence levels in Norfolk tourism are outstripping the national average.'
The survey revealed that the percentage of participants who were 'very satisfied' with their recent performance over the summer months was down from last year (39% compared to 46%) while those who were 'quite satisfied' rose to 45% from 41%.
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Mr Waters said this could be attributed to a 'mixed summer' season for businesses.
'While many hospitality providers talked of record occupancy levels, some attractions had reported fewer visitor numbers when compared to last year,' he said.
'Encouragingly, as we look to promote the year-round visitor economy, the 2017 performance year-to-date is above 2016 both in terms of businesses who are 'very satisfied' and 'quite satisfied'.'
Mr Waters said the latest survey gave cause for optimism following figures which recently showed the county's visitor economy had grown to a new record high of £3.15bn in 2016.
'In the short term, Brexit has given us a boost in terms of more overseas visitors and more staycations, but we don't know what will happen in the future. However, across the sector we are seeing continued investment in product, both from accommodation providers and visitor attractions, and that can only be a good sign.'