Norfolk tourism kit launched for London 2012 Olympic Games

Norfolk's multi-million pound tourism industry has been told that now is the time to capitalise on the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Norfolk Tourism organisation has created a toolkit to help businesses raise the profile of the county as a holiday destination during next year's sporting spectacular.

The kit includes tips about how hoteliers can tailor their services to the Olympic Games and how Norfolk, which already boasts a tourism industry worth �2.6bn a year, offers variety and value while being just 90 minutes away from London.

Lydia Smith, Director of Norfolk Tourism, said: 'We want to take every opportunity that we can to bring people to Norfolk to make them understand that they can still visit the games and see what we have to offer. Norfolk has so much to offer - the beaches, the city and the history.

'For people who don't know Norfolk, we need let them know how easy it is to get to the Games. We should be thinking about it now and we need to be getting the message across this year and to this year's visitors who are thinking about coming back next year.

'We are doing a number of things to raise the profile of Norfolk as a place to stay when people visit the Olympics.'

The toolkit hones in on the message that Norfolk is 'Closer than you think to London' and highlights that it is less than two hours by train from Norwich to Stratford - the nearest station to the Olympic Park.

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Richard Ellis, Chairman of Norfolk Tourism, said: 'Norfolk is the closest major holiday destination to London. It is just 90 minutes by train to the Olympic Park from Norwich and is easily reachable by train from King's Lynn to King's Cross.

'We can offer visitors to the games the best of both worlds - a once in a lifetime day trip to London to be part of the greatest sporting show on earth combined with Norfolk's world-class seaside, city and countryside breaks.

'I urge all torusim businesses in the county to download the toolkit and work together to make sure that Norfolk reaps the maximum benefit from London 2012's projected �2bn boost to the UK tourism economy.'

Mr Ellis added: 'The positive impact of the Olympic Games for Tourism in the UK is already beginning, with tickets on sale - and it will not just last for the next 15 months, but for at least four years after the Games.

'Minimising the challenges and maximising the opportunities for those of us in the tourism industry in Norfolk will need collective action and that work has started. It will also need individual businesses to use the right messages and understand what they need to do themselves, which is what the toolkit is all about.'

The marketing kit offers advice about staff training, how to maximise the use of websites and information about the Fair Pricing Charter - a scheme to assure customers that prices have not been unreasonably inflated.

Ann Steward, cabinet member for sustainable development at Norfolk County Council, said: 'Businesses can use the logo and cut and paste from the toolkit. It is the opportunity of a lifetime and businesses want to make the most of it.

'Many Norfolk businesses are already set for a financial boost off the back of London 2012, after securing the right to supply goods and services to the Games. But there is no doubt that the county's biggest economic boost from the Olympics will come if we can successfully draw tourists to Norfolk - whether before the Games, or during, or after.

'The County Council has sponsored the production of Norfolk's Tourism Business Toolkit in order to help rally our respective businesses to work together to try to maximise the amount of Olympic-related investment brought into our economy.'

Organisers of the games recommend allowing three hours to get to Stratford from south west London, however when travelling from Norwich it only takes 90 minutes.

Business owners can download the logo and toolkit online free of charge from www.2012.ntqt.co.uk. Businesses can also find information at www.visitnorfolk2012.com

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