Greater Yarmouth Tourism launched its 2013 campaign on Tuesday 11 December in the historic Grade I listed St George's Theatre to an audience of more than 200 tourism professionals, representing businesses in the Borough. St George’s Theatre reopened in November following a £8 million refurbishment programme.
Great Yarmouth now attracts more than 5 million visitors to the resort per annum and tourism comprises nearly 30% of the borough’s workforce.
Councillor Colleen Walker, Her Worship the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, unveiled the 2013 brochure. The brochure’s art deco style cover with a modern twist celebrates the increasing interest in the British seaside and growing nostalgia for childhood holidays. The 2013 TV advert, filmed at a range of Great Yarmouth locations over summer also had its première at the event.
Councillor Michael Jeal, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Business and Vice Chair of the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority, revealed the 2011 economic impact of tourism figures, which demonstrate that the ‘stay and daycation’ trend continues in Great Yarmouth. The number of visitors to the resort is now 5.085 million (4.408 million in 2010), with the value to the local economy up at £531,865,000 (£501,358,000 in 2010). Employment in tourism related jobs is also up to 10,262 (9,551 in 2010), comprising 29.3% of the workforce (27.3% in 2010).
The full results for 2012 will not be available until next year but the performance of
www.great-yarmouth.co.uk with unique visits breaking half a million by the end of November, up 29% on the final total for 2011, supports the trend for continued growth. In addition, online accommodation bookings and booking value have doubled since the website launched in 2009.
Councillor Michael Jeal said: “This year will long be remembered for the success of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The weather had an impact on the start of the season in Great Yarmouth, but the summer and early autumn saw the resort celebrating in style with the Olympic Torch Relay, Maritime Festival, Heritage Open Days, Out There Festival, the Tour of Britain cycle race and the International Brotherhood of Magicians British Ring Convention.”
“Tourism is vital to the economy of the Borough,” added Councillor Jeal. “It is equally vital for the public and private sectors to continue to work together to capitalise on the renewed interest in the British seaside holiday. We have impressive growth in visitor numbers and employment, but slower growth in the overall tourism income. Money continues to be tight, so we must maintain our focus on improving quality combined with value for money.”
Great Yarmouth is a top ten UK seaside resort, which attracts more than 5 million tourists and day-trippers a year. With 65,000 bed spaces across the Borough, a third of all holiday nights spent in Norfolk are tourists staying in Greater Yarmouth. Nearly 25% of all holidays nights spent in Norfolk and Suffolk combined are taken in the Borough of Great Yarmouth.
St George’s Theatre is a Grade 1 listed building; originally a chapel completed in 1721. St George’s Trust runs the theatre on behalf of Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority (GYTA) is a unique public / private sector partnership, founded in 1994. It brings together all partners from both the public and private sector to ensure that together we can collectively provide a better resort to help businesses survive and flourish and ensure that jobs are created and sustained.
Photograph left to right: Ken Sims Chairman Greater Yarmouth Tourism Authority, Cllr Colleen Walker, Mayor of Great Yarmouth and Cllr Michael Jeal Cabinet Member for Tourism and Business.