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Boost on the way for tourism

PUBLISHED: 13:46 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:35 20 May 2010

BIG plans are being made this year to boost North Norfolk's all-important tourism industry.

The initiatives are being led by the Tourism Round Table - part of the North Norfolk Business Forum - headed by David Hunter, who has taken over the reins as chairman of the group.

BIG plans are being made this year to boost North Norfolk's all-important tourism industry.

The initiatives are being led by the Tourism Round Table - part of the North Norfolk Business Forum - headed by David Hunter, who has taken over the reins as chairman of the group.

Mr Hunter, clerk of the course of Fakenham Racecourse, believes North Norfolk will become increasingly important as a year-round destination for visitors, with quieter, off-season months attracting greater numbers of people to places such as beaches for birdwatching and walking.

He will lead the project team organising the 2008 Day Out in North Norfolk promotional event, which this year will take on a new format.

The event, traditionally staged in the spring over two days, moves to October this year and will be for one day. It will be aimed at people from other parts of the country who are involved in the tourism industry. Holiday companies and coach operators will be invited along to see what North Norfolk has to offer.

The change has come about because it was widely considered that springtime was too late to promote the area to those from outside, but in October they would be planning their UK tour programmes for 2009.

Under Mr Hunter's guidance, the racecourse has seen more and more use, not just on the turf but in its modern grandstand, which can

host a whole range of events.

He said: “Tourism is such an important part of the Norfolk economy, and we involved in tourism promotion have to make sure that we keep ahead of the game and ensure that the special and unique qualities of our area are promoted as extensively as possible.”

One idea being considered is staging a tourism conference in 2009 where the industry as a whole in Norfolk can be discussed. And the group is keen to hear from those working in the tourism trade about the kind of support they need, such as staff training.

Mr Hunter said: “We need to make sure that tourism in Norfolk, and North Norfolk in particular, is given due credit when budgets are consid-ered because the industry is a huge economic contributor to the county.

“It is early days for me at the helm, and I only have a toe under the table at the moment, but I am conscious of the enthusiasm of other members of the team and feel we can establish an effective working relationship with other groups in Norfolk.”

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