Visitor Economy

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We have a varied and rich tourist offer, from coast and countryside and pretty market towns, underpinned by a dynamic and pioneering cultural sector boasting internationally-celebrated brands.

Icon m tourist trips to Norfolk and Suffolk in 2014

Norfolk and Suffolk is a successful destination. The area has traditional holiday destinations such as Great Yarmouth and the Suffolk Coast, alongside unique natural assets such as the Broads National Park, the Brecks, North Norfolk Coast and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It also has the home of horseracing at Newmarket and important heritage sites such as Norwich (England’s most complete medieval city) and Sutton Hoo in Suffolk.

Our area’s vibrant cultural sector boasts award-winning theatres, major international festivals and England’s only UNESCO City of Literature. The cultural sector and natural landscape plays a key role in creating the ‘sense of place’ that makes the area a great place to live, work, learn, invest and do business in. The sector employs around 88,000 people.

Our Sector Groups

Tourism : Visit East of England has been established to implement a strategic, creative and unified approach to marketing the Visit Suffolk and Visit Norfolk tourism brands – ensuring that tourism businesses have a voice and a strong presence. Visit East of England is also supportive of the development of destination marketing organisations.

Click on the image below to read the Visit East of England Destination Development Plan, published in October 2021.

a family, smiling and holding hands, walking through a town centre
Destination Development Plan cover


Culture : The New Anglia Cultural Board is developing an integrated vision of how the region’s cultural sector can contribute economically, driving both investment and growth. The Cultural Board is making progress in delivering on its ambitions, securing a range of external funding and leading on major projects.

This vision is outlined in Culture Drives Growth This exciting strategy lays out how we can maximise Norfolk and Suffolk’s cultural opportunities ensuring that our unique cultural assets make the fullest possible contribution to our economic growth.

The Cultural Tourism project, jointly funded by the LEP and Arts Council England, is now entering its second year, and has been successful in delivering a new brand for cultural tourism – Look Sideways – East, and has produced a ‘show reel’ and shared calendar highlighting a year of culture in Suffolk and Norfolk.

To read the research on cultural tourism in Norfolk and Suffolk, click here.

StartEast is designed to build the cultural economy in Norfolk and Suffolk. StartEast will make Norfolk and Suffolk places where enterprising, creative people can start up and build sustainable, cultural enterprises. It will develop and deliver business support and investment for artists and creative people planning to develop and grow a cultural business.

Helen Wilson is Chair of New Anglia Cultural Board: [email protected]

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