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Call to widen appeal of north Norfolk’s holiday hotspots

PUBLISHED: 12:50 14 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:22 15 November 2016

Cromer Pier. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Cromer Pier. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2016

Tourism has been described as the key to economic growth in north Norfolk after new figures revealed the area attracted almost 8m visitors last year.

Blakeney Point. Photo: ANTONY KELLY Blakeney Point. Photo: ANTONY KELLY

The sector generated £500m in turnover in 2015 and supported 27pc of jobs. However, calls have been made for more to be done to broaden the appeal of the destination that is famous for its traditional seaside resorts such as Cromer and Sheringham.

North Norfolk District councillor Simon Hester said the focus should be on attracting visitors from the ‘GoPro generation’ familiar with the use of action cameras and mobile apps.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Mr Hester said: “We largely cater to senior citizens and young families and are leaps and bounds behind Cornwall. North Norfolk needs to attract the GoPro generation. More also has to be done to promote the area in overseas markets like China and Japan.”

Figures released by the district council showed that more than 550,000 people stayed the night – a 2.4pc increase since 2014. Tourists had an average stay of four nights spending £249 - £46 below the national average.

The council this week announced a £1.9m bid to fund the Deep History Coast project, reflecting the area’s global importance in the story of life on earth. The money would be used to highlight discoveries including the West Runton elephant and 850,000 year old Happisburgh footprints.

Cabinet member for business and economic development and tourism Nigel Dixon said: “The Deep History Coast can be used as a new offering, extending the season and increasing the menu of tourism attractions along the coastline.

“Tourism is key to the economic growth of north Norfolk. The questions are how do we raise the spend of those who stay and convert day trips into stay trips?”

A marketing campaign, called Nip to North Norfolk, was launched this year to boost the number of short break holidays. Visit North Norfolk brand manager Kayla Dunne said a radio advertising campaign fronted by presenter Janet Ellis had reached almost 9m people.

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