News story

Culture Secretary's Olympic tour arrives in Norwich

Businesses are urged to make the most of 2012.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Businesses in Norwich and the East of England were today urged to make the very most of the opportunity of the country hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt continued his nationwide ‘2012 tour’ at OPEN in Norwich.

Addressing more than 200 hoteliers, businesses and tourism bodies from across Norfolk and the East of England, the Culture Secretary said that the region was one of the most stunning parts of the country, and that there were big wins to be had in 2012 for Norfolk - in particular its tourism industry.

Mr Hunt also revealed that the region would feature in major international and national marketing campaigns to promote UK tourism in 2012, and urged local tourism firms to sign up to a new 20.12 per cent discount scheme.

The event, which was hosted by Caroline Jarrold, Chair of VisitNorwich, showcased the business, tourism, cultural and sporting opportunities that the Games bring. 

Other speakers included Martin Green (Head of Ceremonies at London 2012), Councillor Stephen Castle (Chairman East of England London 2012 Nations and Regions group) and James Berresford (VisitEngland’s Chief Executive).

Jeremy Hunt said: “Last year, nearly 10 million visitors came to the East of England, supporting more than 240,000 jobs and generating £2 billion through overnight stays. Next year, with the Games and our biggest-ever tourism marketing campaign we can do even better.  With the Torch Relay passing right through the area we have a once-in-a-generation chance to show the world the very best of Norwich and the East of England. From the natural beauty of the Norfolk Broads, to cultural and historic sites like Holkham Hall and Gainsborough’s House, and Michelin-starred restaurants like Morston Hall and Midsummer House, Norwich and the East of England have it all - and we need to make sure the whole world knows.”

VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, James Berresford said: “I’m delighted to be here in Norwich to take part in this exciting initiative to launch England’s most high profile campaign to boost domestic tourism.  The campaign is designed to highlight the fantastic experiences Britons can enjoy literally on their doorsteps. 2012 offers the tourism industry a number of unprecedented opportunities.  Not only will England be showcased to billions of people all over the world, but we have the opportunity to grow domestic tourism by inspiring Britons to rediscover England and take a holiday at home next year. Spear-heading the promotion will be a high profile TV campaign and specially devised discounted offers. Our job as the national tourist board is to work with the industry to harness the pride we know is felt by local residents and to inspire them to act as ambassadors for their destinations for next year and beyond.”

Caroline Jarrold, Chair of VisitNorwich said: “We are delighted to welcome the Culture Secretary and Chief Executive of VisitEngland to Norwich as part of their nationwide tour. The East of England is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the UK offering a wealth of different experiences for many types of visitor whether to vibrant historic and cultural centres such as Norwich and Cambridge, the magnificent coastline or the countryside and the distinctive experience of the Broads.

“The area is well placed to benefit from the 2012 games with many points of relatively easy access to the sites through the rail and coach networks. The torch relay will also pass through the area including an overnight stop here in Norwich with many cultural activities around it. Norwich Cathedral will see the premiere of a new specially commissioned work ‘How Like an Angel’ in June and Robert Wilson is creating a project entitled Walking which will take place in North Norfolk in the summer. These and other events give exciting opportunities for the region and it is vital that we work together with VisitEngland and other partners to ensure we make the most of the opportunities next year and create a much higher awareness of what the region has to offer for many years to come.”

Notes to editors

  1. For further information please contact Emma Marsh at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on 020 7211 6271 / 07919 693320.

  2. For further information about tourism in Norwich please contact Melanie Cook at VisitNorwich on 01603 727939 /

  3. For further information about Visit England contact Sarah Long on 0207 578 1452 /

  4. More information about London 2012.

  5. The GREAT initiative is an international campaign to maximise the tourism and business opportunities of the UK hosting the 2012 Games.

  6. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is making a series of visits around the country to promote the opportunities of 2012.  He visited Cumbria on 9 November, Nottingham on 16 November, Cornwall on 18 November, Birmingham on 23 November, Canterbury on 2 December, Manchester on 12 January and York on 18 January. 

Other provisional dates are:

* 26 January: NewcastleGateshead 
* 2 February: London 
* Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to be confirmed  
  1. East of England ‘2012 factsheet PDF (42kb) 

Press Enquiries: 020 7211 2210
Out of hours telephone pager no: 07699 751153
Public Enquiries: 020 7211 6000

Published 2 April 2012