Town’s new tourism brand aims to boost overnight stays in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond
Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, the town’s new official tourism brand, launched this week (18 September) in a bid to boost visitor numbers and overnight stays.
Behind the brand is the newly formed Bury St Edmunds Destination Management Organisation (DMO), a private sector-led, not-for-profit which will promote the town and drive visitors to its website to showcase all that Bury St Edmunds and surrounding area has to offer.
Tourism is big business in Bury St Edmunds with 744,000 trips a year to the town, where the value of tourism to the local economy has been calculated as more than £47million. The main aim of ‘Bury St Edmunds and Beyond’ is to increase the value of tourism in the town and the surrounding area by encouraging more overnight visitors and longer stays and offer a route to market for tourism businesses in the area.
Its introduction follows the creation of other successful DMOs across the UK including Bath Tourism Plus, Visit York and Cumbria Tourism and in Suffolk with The Suffolk Coast and All About Ipswich.
Sue Warren, Brand and Marketing Manager for Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, which began its pre-launch phase in April, said: “We have award winning restaurants, a fantastic mix of 200 independent and High Street shops, over 1,000 years of heritage to explore as well as stunning parks, gardens, and historic homes on our doorstep. Bury St Edmunds really is a jewel in Suffolk’s crown and we need to tell more people about our story.”
2016 saw an increase of 3% to the value of tourism to the local economy of Bury St Edmunds. Bury St Edmunds and Beyond will now build on the past success by continuing to increase the number and duration of overnight stays and grow the value of tourism to the local economy.
Bury St Edmunds and Beyond will be working with the other Suffolk DMOs and Visit Suffolk which promotes the county, ensuring opportunities are taken up to promote the Bury St Edmunds area both nationally and internationally.
The launch at The Athenaeum on Angel Hill, brought together a wide range of organisations who can contribute to the town’s development as a visitor destination including representatives from tourism businesses outside Bury St Edmunds.
Bury St Edmunds and Beyond has secured funding for the next three years from both the private and public-sector: St Edmundsbury Borough Council (£150k), Bury St Edmunds Town Council (£60K), Our Bury St Edmunds BID (£60K), St Edmundsbury Cathedral (£15K), Gough Hotels (£15K) and Bury In Bloom (£15K).
Additional income will be raised through membership fees. Membership for tourism-related businesses such as attractions, accommodation providers and restaurants is £95 per year and their contribution will help deliver ongoing marketing and campaigns designed to attract visitors.
For more information on Bury St Edmunds and Beyond visit www.burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk