Tourism is a vital part of North West Norfolk's economy with visitors enjoying our wonderful coastline, heritage, and countryside.
The visitor economy in West Norfolk is estimated to be worth around £496 million to the wider economy. Around 482,000 staying visitors spend an estimated £111 million per annum while around 7.8 million day visitors spend approximately £259 million.
Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, James has been talking to tourism businesses across North West Norfolk and supporting them through the unprecedented lockdown. The government put in place welcome measures to support tourism and hospitality business with grants of up to £25,000, a 12 month business rate holiday, the furlough scheme, and bounce back loans for small firms.
However pubs, restaurants, attractions have been hit hard and James lobbied on the government to provide an enhanced package of support for the tourism and hospitality sectors including cutting VAT on tourism to 5%, as well as adopting a flexi-furlough scheme. James was delighted when the Chancellor responded by introducing these measures.
At the March 2021 Budget, James praised the Chancellor's decision to extend the business rates holiday and the 5% VAT rate that he campaigned for. He said there is a strong case for extending the lower 12.5% VAT rate that applies from October on an ongoing basis. Longer term, James spoke about the proposal Visit East of England and New Anglia LEP are developing for a Tourism Zone for Norfolk and Suffolk and encouraged ministers to include the timetable and process in the tourism recovery strategy in the spring.
As restrictions are lifted, James is encouraging people to come and enjoy everything North West Norfolk has to offer while respecting local communities. James has been promoting the impressive heritage in the constituency - including the re-opened True's Yard museum; attractions including the Sea Life centre in Hunstanton; shopping at the farmers 'markets in Creake Abbey and King's Lynn; as well as enjoying some of Norfolk's finest pubs, fantastic Norfolk food and Burn Valley wine.
Many people are attracted by the wildlife we are lucky to have and James joined many to witness a recent Snettisham Spectacular as the fast incoming tide pushes birds off the mudflats.
In June 2020, James spoke up for the North West Norfolk tourism industry as the Prime Minister made a statement lifting many restrictions on the sector, saying that the local pubs, restaurants, holiday parks, and attractions along with the stunning coastline make North West Norfolk the ideal place to visit and take a staycation.
In response the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, said -
One thing I think we can all do now is ensure that we send out a positive and welcoming message from coastal communities around the UK. Now is the time folks to have a staycation in the UK – Hunstanton – or elsewhere.”
James is backing the #LoveWestNorfolk campaign that harnesses the passion and pride people have about west Norfolk, and to inspire people to think about all the great things the local area has to offer.
In endorsing the campaign, James said -
I love the heritage, vibrant villages and pubs, stunning wildlife, big skies, fresh food, and the beautiful beaches of West Norfolk. I'm proud and privileged to represent the amazing people, public services, businesses, and charities that make this a special place. My job is to help encourage more people to love West Norfolk. Come and enjoy all it has to offer.
Read more: https://www.lovewestnorfolk.co.uk