Why are there so many different tourism groups?
Firstly we need to differentiate between commercial websites looking for revenue from membership and advertising from the official tourism organisations that exist. Many private businesses have developed tourism websites purely for commercial gain.
The official tourism websites are layered and structured, with objectives set at different levels:
Britain's national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain overseas in 23 markets through a range of campaigns. www.visitbritain.com
The strategic leadership body representing the public and private sector stakeholders of English Tourism. Visit England works in partnership with Visit Britain, local and regional DMOs, and the private sector, creating a national tourism strategy, optimising marketing investment, conducting industry research and developing the visitor experience across England. www.visitengland.com
Visit East Anglia:
A business-led organisation to promote tourism across the region. Visit East Anglia is fully aligned with the Tourism Strategy for England. Visit East Anglia operates under the banner of Visit East of England. www.visiteastofengland.com
Visit Suffolk: Works alongside Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) throughout the county to support tourism development and engagement with local businesses, with the overall objective of continuing to increase visitor numbers and spend within the county by promoting the county’s offer at a regional and national level.
Visit Suffolk aims to develop promotional campaigns and initiatives and work with other DMOs to grow the county's tourism economy which supports some 38,369 jobs, 12.3% of all employment in Suffolk. The sector also supports thousands more jobs in retail, food production, culture and transport. The value of tourism in Suffolk is £2 billion! www.visitsuffolk.com
The Suffolk Coast DMO:
The official organisation for tourism in the Suffolk Coast area. The Suffolk Coast initiates and delivers marketing and promotional activity specifically to get visitors to this area and works alongside Visit Suffolk to promote the county as a whole. Founding organisations in 2012 included: Adnams PLC, Aldeburgh Music, Snape Maltings, Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB, Suffolk Secrets Ltd, TA Hotel Collection Ltd and Suffolk Coastal District Council. The Suffolk Coast DMO board of Directors includes representatives from Britten Pears Arts, Adnams Plc, The Hotel Folk, The Yeo Group, AHP Consulting, Attain Solutions, the National Trust and Suffolk Coast & Heath's AONB www.thesuffolkcoast.co.uk
These organisations share the vision that by working together we can build a more compelling package of reasons for a visitor to choose the Suffolk Coast as a holiday destination.
In 2020 the 14 DMOs across Norfolk and Suffolk including Visit East of England, Visit Suffolk, Visit Norfolk and The Suffolk Coast DMO, came together in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Working in collaboration for the first time we have successfully pooled resources and attracted additional marketing funds from VisitEngland to promote the region. 'Enjoy Summer Safely' was a campaign run in August 2020; 'Unexplored England - Norfolk and Suffolk' is the current campaign, encouraging people to book their summer holidays in the region and 'Escape the Everyday' is a campaign launching spring 2021, to encourage people to book stays and experiences online.
Local Tourism Action Groups: LTAGS and Business Associations. Most towns in this area have local tourism groups that look very specifically at their own area as a destination. Developing local strategy and ways to enhance tourism in their towns. Organisations like Visit Felixstowe, Visit Beccles, Choose Woodbridge and Visit Waveney Valley.