New ‘tourist pass’ scheme hopes to draw Dutch visitors to the east coast

CAPTION; General View of Holme beach, where Sea Henge was found.PHOTO; Matthew UsherCOPY; Chris Bish

CAPTION; General View of Holme beach, where Sea Henge was found.PHOTO; Matthew UsherCOPY; Chris BishopFOR; EDP NEWSCOPYRIGHT; EDP pics © 2004TEL; (01603) 772434 - Credit: Matthew Usher

From Great Yarmouth's lively golden mile to Wells' rows of pastel beach huts – there's plenty to explore along the region's shores.

Picture taken by Justin Minns, a graphic designer and passionate outdoor photographer from Suffolk.

Picture taken by Justin Minns, a graphic designer and passionate outdoor photographer from Suffolk. His photo features the shipwreck of the Steam Trawler Sheraton, on Hunstanton Beach in Norfolk. - Credit: Archant

And a new initiative billed as a 'tourist pass' is hoping to entice visitors to the east coast – with its first outing targeting Dutch holidaymakers in particular.

The Coastal Pass trial will be run by the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA), which has received funding from Visit England to get it up and running.

The pass, which will be launched in January next year, will allow holidaymakers to design bespoke breaks using interactive videos and a simplified booking system which will cover accommodation, transport and attractions.

Stretching from Hull through to Harwich, the scheme will cover Norfolk and Suffolk's sweeping coastline and will see the NCTA work alongside Visit East Anglia (VEA).

Pete Waters, VEA's executive director, said the body was delighted to be on board and said an earlier drive this year to attract Dutch visitors had been a success.

'It generated an additional £2m of spend and more than 8,000 overnight trips, so we know the Dutch have an interest in visiting this area and we believe this new Passport to the East Coast will provide even more benefits to the visitor economy,' he said.

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The Netherlands is the joint third largest international market visiting Britain's coast.

Samantha Richardson, NCTA director, said: 'Dutch visitors aged over 45 are a growing market.

'This age group often has the flexibility to travel off-season so promoting this stretch of coastline year-round and allowing them to design their own itineraries could provide a means to unlocking long-term, sustainable growth.

'There's enormous untapped potential on England's east coast.'

• Do you have a tourism story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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