Growing tourism in the East of England
The visitor economy of the East of England is valued at more than £10bn a year, making it the largest industry sector and one of the biggest employers.
The region attracts more than 140m day trippers a year, close to 10m staying visits and directly employs around 240,000 people.
In the next five years, the visitor economy in the East of England is projected to have double digit growth – the only sector to do so. Every 1% of growth would create more than 2000 additional jobs.
The industry is set for success in this region, with huge on-going investment in accommodation and attractions as well as in transport infrastructure.
London Stansted, the International Gateway to the East of England, is the fastest-growing airport in the country and has ambitious £600m development plans. Norwich International is one of the best-connected airports in the country, with daily flights to and from Schiphol Amsterdam. Greater Anglia are making the biggest investment in new rolling stock and services since Victorian times, over £1.5bn. The region also boasts a daily ferry service between the Hook of Holland and Harwich.
Visit East of England has identified key objectives and challenges to address:
1. Working more closely with Visit England and Visit Britain as other regional tourism bodies do;
2. The need for a strong, collective visitor economy voice capable of representing the industry;
3. Ensuring strong two-way communication with the sector, beginning by offering every visitor economy-related business and service a free listing on the Visit East of England database;
4. Competing with global Online Travel Agents to ensure more value is retained in the local economy;
5. Change the perception that tourism is low-paid, low-skilled and seasonal through a skills plan and action;
6. Improve productivity by developing the year-round visitor economy and converting day trippers to stay visitors;
7. Making the region more top of mind with potential visitors.