BALANCE Tourism Work
One of the projects within BALANCE was about developing sensible and sustainable tourism. The AONB environment is high quality, hosting a successful and developing local tourism industry. Local people need to benefit from this also. We want visitors to the AONB to appreciate the wonderful landscape, have a positive experience and visit again having had no adverse impact.
Research in 2006 in the AONB showed we receive over 2.8 million day visits per year, with tourism in the AONB being worth over £166 million/year. The tourism sector employs over 3000 people.
Tourism is here to stay, and tourism businesses will continue to promote the area. The AONB should be an economically vibrant place in which small businesses can make a living. Protected landscapes should not be preserved in aspic. Tourism is also, of course, an important part of Suffolk’s economy.
In August 2014 we asked WHAT ARE THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS AND IMPACTS OF THE AONB? Our INFOGRAPHIC on the value of tourism in Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB shows the answer.
A 10 year Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Tourism Study and Executive Summary were produced by URS Scott-Wilson. The Study concluded that the Suffolk Coast has the character and assets that could - and should - be actively promoted to secure a greater profile as a tourism destination. Any development here however, must be tempered against the sensitive and sometimes fragile nature of the environment and through measures that can bring mutual benefits to businesses, conservation organisations and communities.