New campaign launched to attract millions of tourists to Norfolk and Waveney

A national tourism agency aiming to attract four million more visitors to the UK in the next four years is urging the people of Waveney to invite their loved ones from around the world to visit the area this year.

As part of VisitBritain's 'Great Britain – You're Invited' marketing programme, the agency is urging local communities and businesses across the region to make use of 'Share Your Great Britain' - a new free online tool kit.

Asa Morrison, Waveney District Council's principle service manager for culture, tourism, sport and leisure, said: 'It's a brilliant idea and will promote Britain as a place to visit, with plenty of emphasis on the 'great'.

'There's also some really iconic images being used in this campaign and it is absolutely fantastic news for the tourism industry and a welcome boost highlighting what Great Britain has to offer the rest of the world.

'It will raise the profile of Great Britain abroad and introduce more international visitors to the region.'

There will be a variety of tools available online, including a '10 Great Reasons' app and a personalised postcard that can be downloaded from the VisitBritain website.

International friends or relatives who receive an invitation will be entered into a draw to win two return flights to the UK, while anyone sending an invite has the chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

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Keith Brown, chief executive of Visit East Anglia, described the campaign as 'important' to the area. He said: 'Although overseas tourists to East Anglia are a relatively small proportion in terms of actual visitor numbers, because they tend to stay with us for longer, they spend more money. It is important that potential visitors do not assume that because of the London 2012 Olympics that the whole country is full and therefore the campaign is important in ensuring the continued growth of our visitor economy.'

Chris Scargill, tourism and leisure partner at Larking Gowen Chartered Accountants, added: 'With the economic climate as it is, all ideas and initiatives are welcome, and to widen the net of those publicising our region is great.

'Tourism is currently estimated to be worth �2.6b to Norfolk's economy, with some 50000 people employed full and part-time. The target of attracting four million more overseas visitors to England adds approximately 10pc to the existing visitor activity, over the four year period. Our share of the overseas market is currently only 3pc of our tourism income, so is very much an area where we could improve.

'Hopefully tying in this initiative with the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee year will create a legacy from which [we] can benefit.'

• The free tourism industry toolkit is available online from www.visitbritain.org

• The deadline for businesses to take part in the Eastern Daily Press Larking Gowen Tourism Business Survey is January 29. Larking Gowen chartered accountants and business advisors will help analyse the data before results are presented in March.

You will also be able to see the results online, in the EDP and in a glossy brochure. Take part now at www.edp24.co.uk/tourismsurvey

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