Yarmouth’s big honour

Great Yarmouth Racecourse has been heralded for its innovative approach to attracting tourists – and at the same time has been accredited by the national tourist board.

The accolade came from the Racecourse Association and Racing for Change which named a number of highly commended promotions at the country’s racecourses in the last 12 months.

The value-for-money ticket offer involved Pleasurewood Hills, Merrivale Model Village and the Sealife Centre as well as the racecourse. They came together to offer visitors a new passport for the four attractions when out and about last summer.

Glenn Tubby, general manager at Great Yarmouth Racecourse, said: “It was a great initiative that benefited our visitors as well as our business – generating several thousand more people through our gates. I’m delighted that it has been recognised nationally.”

The racecourse has also received official recognition from the national tourist board. VisitEngland assessed the Norfolk venue following the launch during the summer of the first ever quality scheme for sport.

Areas under assessment included pre-arrival information, the racecourse’s website, journey planning, signage, welcome on arrival, the actual sporting event, toilets, catering and retail outlets.

After passing the assessment, the racecourse has been awarded a VisitEngland plaque illustrated by the organisation’s red rose logo.

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James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland, said: “England has a world famous sporting heritage and for many parts of the country horse racing is at the core of the community. I can’t think of a more thrilling day out than a day at the races.

“The VisitEngland quality rose marque provides a recognised stamp of approval showing visitors that Great Yarmouth Racecourse has been assessed along similar lines to a more traditional type of visitor attraction providing regular racegoers and first time visitors alike with a high quality, highly memorable experience.”

Tubby added: “I am delighted with the results of our assessment which demonstrated that our staff provide an excellent experience for our visitors.

“It is also hugely useful to have a truly independent assessment, because it has shown me one or two areas where we can improve in order to offer an even better day out at the races. The VisitEngland Quality Assured plaque will act as a stamp of approval showing visitors that a day’s racing is a quality experience and great value for money.”

The VisitEngland inspector praised Great Yarmouth as an “attractive racecourse”, catering very well for local people and holiday visitors. There is, he said, “a great family atmosphere”.