Broads businesses gearing up for more first-time boaters this summer
- Credit: Submitted
James and Ruth Knight, of Broads Tours and Norfolk Broads Direct, in Wroxham, believe this summer will be a vital period for the local economy after a challenging year of Covid restrictions.
Mr Knight said: “This year we are seeing people who might never have considered boating on the Broads, giving it a try for the first time - so we are focused on making sure that they have a great time and will want to holiday in the UK again next year.”
The couple met Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew and Broadland district councillor Fran Whymark on Friday as part of English Tourism Week.
Following a tour of a passenger boat and the holiday cruiser boatyard, Mr Mayhew said it was great to see Broads businesses getting geared up to offer holidays.
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Mr Whymark added: “I want everyone to know that Wroxham and the Broads area is open for business.
"There are so many attractions including the Bure Valley Railway and path, running through Broadland from Wroxham to Aylsham."
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is among those who enjoyed the Norfolk Broads over the May bank holiday weekend.
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English Tourism Week highlights the contribution the sector makes to the UK economy.
Figures from VisitBritain show the pre-pandemic significance of the tourism sector with £100.8bn spent on tourism in England in 2019, and 2.6m jobs being supported.
Domestic overnight tourism also generated £46.4m to the nation's economy in 2019 before the struggles of the Covid crisis began.
Airbnbs are currently in a healthy position due to staycations, with the number of active listings on the official website up by 43pc in Great Yarmouth alone.
It comes as France has become the latest European country to introduce restrictions on UK tourists amid the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant.
The French government has announced that from today only essential travel from the UK will be allowed.
Germany imposed a two-week quarantine on UK arrivals last week, while Austria has banned direct UK flights from June 1.