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Bury St Edmunds Records Another Bumper Year For Tourism

Tourism in Bury St Edmunds last year saw another bumper year as the historic town grew the value of tourism to the local economy by £2.2million, latest figures have revealed.

The 2019 tourism figures from independent research, carried out by Destination Research and commissioned annually by West Suffolk Council, show the value of the town’s tourism economy rose in 2019 to a new high of £53.6million, up 4.2% on 2018.

The number of staying trips is up, as is the total visitor spend, and the amount visitors spend on stays and day trips - meeting one of Bury St Edmunds and Beyond’s key aims to drive more overnight stays and greater visitor spend. 

Key highlights:

• The number of staying trips increased by 1.3% to 73,000.

• Total visitor spend increased by 3.7% to £41,044,000.

• Total staying spend increased by 5.3% to £15,406,000.

• Total day trip spend increased by 4.1% to £23,877,000.

• Total indirect spend increased by 5.8% to £12,522,000.

• Spend per overnight trip increased by 3.8% to £211.04.

• Spend per night increased by 3.4% to £56.23

• Spend per day also increased by 6.1% to £29.92.


Growing interest in visiting Bury St Edmunds is also reflected in the brand’s own marketing figures. Since it launched in September 2017, Bury St Edmunds and Beyond has seen a rise of 264% in the number of visitors to the official tourism website from 139,737 to 508,145 thanks to regional and national marketing. In addition, the value of tourism to the local economy has risen by £9.3million (13.4%) since Bury St Edmunds and Beyond launched in 2017.

Sue Warren, Brand and Marketing Manager for Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, said: “We are delighted with the results of last year’s tourism figures for Bury St Edmunds. It is a key aim of Bury St Edmunds and Beyond to grow overnight stays and importantly grow the visitor spend in the town and the value of tourism to the local economy.

“Although we had one of our best year’s ever last year, 2020 has been one of the worst for tourism. We had a bumper summer season here in the Bury St Edmunds area once lockdown was lifted. However, it doesn’t make up for the four or five months that our businesses were closed and I’m afraid the autumn and winter will be very challenging for all businesses, especially tourism.”


Melanie Lesser, Chair of Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, said: “Last year’s bumper year for tourism absolutely proves that the funding for marketing the town as a visitor destination is critical to growth of the visitor economy and in turn the local economy. I would like to thank our funders West Suffolk Council, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, the Our Bury St Edmunds BID, St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Gough Hotels for their financial support.”

Bury St Edmunds and Beyond has just launched a new autumn/winter digital marketing campaign, ‘Uniquely Bury St Edmunds’, which will use a mixture of social media, google advertising, content marketing and PR to drive visitors to the official tourism website for the area www.burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk. ‘Uniquely Bury St Edmunds’ will concentrate on those autumn and winter activities which are unique to the town and encourage bookings for autumn, winter and early bookings for spring.

Bury St Edmunds and Beyond is also participating in the UK Government backed joint Norfolk and Suffolk ‘Unexplored England’ campaign. The £500,000 marketing campaign to extend the holiday season safely in Norfolk and Suffolk has seen every destination marketing organisation (DMO) in the two counties work together with Visit East of England, Visit Suffolk and Visit Norfolk.

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