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Sunny side up for resort

PUBLISHED: 09:57 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:51 03 July 2010

GREAT Yarmouth is heading into the tourist season on an upbeat note - despite the freezing Easter and predictions of economic gloom.

Investment in the seaside resort seems to be paying off, with visitor attractions and hotels taking their cue from public bodies by making big investments of their own in time for the summer season.

GREAT Yarmouth is heading into the tourist season on an upbeat note - despite the freezing Easter and predictions of economic gloom.

Investment in the seaside resort seems to be paying off, with visitor attractions and hotels taking their cue from public bodies by making big investments of their own in time for the summer season.

The third phase of the seafront improvement works is coming to an end, with the final touches being put on the road improvements along the Golden Mile.

Earlier in the spring hoteliers reported that early bookings were up 10pc on last year.

The Sea Life Centre, Merrivale Model Village and Yesterday's World are among the attractions which have made additions and improvements to their displays in recent months, while the Gold Rush amusement arcade has recently opened.

And multi-million pound works are planned to turn the Wellington Pier into a family entertainment centre. The Beach Café has been completely rebuilt over the winter and hoteliers have also been making improvements, such as at the Southern Hotel and the White Feather Hotel, the former Elizabeth Hotel, which is being upgraded after changing hands.

Yarmouth tourism officer Alan Carr said the town was shaking off the bad Easter. “They are all positive signs. There seems to be an enormous amount of confidence in the town despite the appalling Easter.

“The regeneration work is laying down a good foundation and the private sector is certainly building on that. I have got every confidence in the rest of the season.”

Peter Williamson, chairman of Norfolk Tourist Attractions' Association and owner of Merrivale Model Village, said: “It was an extremely challenging start, but it has certainly picked up now. The Easter holiday is spread over four weeks now, with some parts of the country still on holiday now, and the weather has picked up for the people that are here.

He said the investment being made across the town - including a new street and three new kiosks at the model village - was “quite encouraging”.

“I think the private sector has encouraged the public sector to invest, and vice-versa. They have each spurred each other on.”

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