�1.5m tourism bonanza
GREAT Yarmouth is set to share in �1.5m tourism bonanza as one of the country's biggest sporting events sweeps through the resort next week.The Tour of Britain cycle race will bring top sporting names including double gold Olympic medallist Bradley Wiggins, as well as a predicted 10,000 strong crowd.
GREAT Yarmouth is set to share in �1.5m tourism bonanza as one of the country's biggest sporting events sweeps through the resort next week.
The Tour of Britain cycle race will bring top sporting names including double gold Olympic medallist Bradley Wiggins, as well as a predicted 10,000 strong crowd.
And with live pictures of the event being beamed into millions of sitting rooms worldwide, tourism chiefs hope the coverage will raise the profile of the town as it jostles for its share of the staycation market.
The end-of-season boost comes after a washout August and poor bank holiday and is being welcomed by business leaders who say the race could not have come at a better time.
Albert Jones, managing director of the Pleasure Beach and director of the Tourist Authority, said the event would help extend what has been a difficult season.
“We would normally be closed but we have opened specifically for it, as we feel if people are coming to the town we should make the most of it.
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“I think it's great the tour is coming, and I know that when we're opening
up specifically for something, a lot of other businesses will be doing the same.”
The race comes in the wake of the successful Maritime Festival and just ahead of the popular Out There Festival, which is staging its own zany bicycle event in the Market Place on Thursday.
Sharing in the enthusiasm was borough councillor Graham Plant, whose cabinet portfolio covers tourism.
He spoke of his pride at Yarmouth having been chosen for the final leg of stage six and urged traders to take advantage. He said: “I think it will boost the profile of Great Yarmouth. It's a national event, and will help us show the media we're a popular holiday resort”.
The 17 teams begin the day in King's Lynn before heading through Repps with Bastwick, Rollesby, Ormesby and Caister reaching Yarmouth's seafront just after 3pm.
There, visitors will be able to enjoy a range of entertainment away from the athletes, with arts displays, a pedal powered bus and a stunt display team.
And with an eye on the area's image, extra efforts are being made to ensure all roads being used, and the town in general, are kept spic and span.
Fiona Roberts, co-ordinating the event for Norfolk County Council, spoke of the town's “great offer” for visitors, as well as the wider benefits for the community.
“There's a lot of evidence to prove there's a massive economic benefit, and a wider impact on the community in terms of promoting healthy lifestyles.
“People will be coming to see the race, but in Yarmouth they will be able to experience a place that's great for tourism as well.”