New tourist company aims to promote Great Yarmouth tourist attractions

VISIT East Anglia, a specially created not-for-profit company, aims to create a united and simplified voice for the industry pulling together work done by existing bodies such as Norfolk Tourism and Choose Suffolk.

The new body, which has the support of the both Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, has stepped into the breach following the collapse of East of England Tourism (EET) earlier this year, which folded after its �1m government grant was cut.

Founding members, who have each contributed to the �100,000 needed to get it up and running include: Adnams plc; Bewilderwood, Banham Zoo, Africa Alive and The Dinosaur Park; Norfolk Broads Direct; Norfolk Country Cottages; Southwold Pier; Suffolk Secrets and Wroxham Barns.

Visit East chairman Richard Ellis said the new body will promote and market the best places to visit and things to do across the two counties while also working closely with bodies focused on specific destinations including Visit Norwich, Broads Tourism and the Greater Yarmouth Tourism Authority.

Tourism in East Anglia is worth more than �4bn a year, but Mr Ellis said the area has great opportunities for further growth and job creation, not least with the upcoming London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games plus the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

Mr Ellis said the aim was to try and streamline the approach and make the most of the limited funds available.

“There was widespread concern in the tourism industry when East of England Tourism (EET) went into liquidation in July,” he added. “While not everyone mourned the loss of a publicly funded body whose boundaries few felt comfortable with, there was real concern key elements of its work would be lost.”

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Keith Brown, chief executive of Visit East Anglia, said: “We will have an inclusive approach and will work very closely with important local destination organisations like Visit Norwich, Broads Tourism and the Greater Yarmouth Tourism Authority,” he said.

“Businesses have never understood why there are so many different bodies, often with apparent overlapping responsibilities and competing membership offers.

“Those days are over - there simply isn’t the luxury of lots of public funding to have that any more and most businesses would argue that that is a good thing.”