Suffolk's Visitor Economy

What is Suffolk’s visitor economy

The visitor economy is more broadly defined than ‘tourism’.

The visitor economy in Suffolk is intrinsically linked to our arts and cultural venues, performance spaces and performers, heritage buildings and natural landscapes.

As well as holiday accommodation, visitor and leisure attractions, and travel businesses, it includes the wider hospitality sector that includes bars, coffee shops and restaurants and retail that are such a significant part of our local high street economy.

The demand and supply of the sector is therefore linked to the growth and development of so many other sectors.

We work with all local authorities and partners to develop sector busness.

What is our role?


There are so many parts of the jigsaw that support the sector. We are working with local authorities and key sector organisations, including national and regional partners, to support a strategic focus for the long-term development and sustainable growth of the sector.


Vision and strategic framework

Create a clear vision and strategic framework for enabling sector growth and articulating the Suffolk vision at the heart of national and regional sector plans. 


Connection and coordination

Develop the connection and coordination across the visitor economy, including national and regional strategy.


Reset opportuntities

Facilitate sectoral ‘reset’ opportunities for skills, digital and tech tourism, clean growth and low carbon sustainable tourism, town centre and high street regeneration.


Improvement networking

Develop sector-wide improvement networking.


The Suffolk Growth Visitor Economy priorities are supported through Suffolk Growth investment programmes and specific sector projects highlighted here.

cafe baristas

Towards a Carbon Net Zero visitor economy

Suffolk Growth is supporting the development of a coordinated sector approach to achieving Suffolk’s carbon net zero ambition while supporting sector growth and productivity. The visitor economy is an important part of sustainable and inclusive growth strategies in Suffolk. Read more…

A couple walking, woman has an artificial limb and is using a walking stick, the coastal town of Whitby is in the background. Accessibility.

Accessibility and inclusion: enabling growth in the visitor economy

One in five people in the UK have an impairment, which may affect where they choose to stay or visit. There is a compelling business case for making tourism destinations, venues and experiences inclusive. Read more…

cafe baristas

The Wolf Way

The Wolf Way is a 248 mile/400km cycling adventure around Suffolk. Winding its way around many of the best bridleways, byways, gravel tracks, cycle paths and quiet back roads, it takes in some of Suffolk’s most beautiful locations and hidden gems. Read more…

Family travelling by train with good journey logo

Good Journey Suffolk

Suffolk County Council (SCC) and Suffolk Growth Partnership have today launched a new, two-year initiative to encourage visitors to explore more of the county’s cultural and leisure destinations on foot, by bike or using public transport. Read more…

Suffolk’s Festivals and Events Strategy

Festivals and events are an established part of the community, leisure and visitor economy offer across Suffolk’s towns, villages, and destinations. These major visitor attractions range from internationally acclaimed cultural and music festivals and sporting events through to food and drink festivals, and unique local market town community events. Read more…


Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund (SIGIF)

The Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund is a £2.4m fund allocated by Suffolk Public Sector Leaders and the New Anglia Local enterprise Partnership to support local, place based economic recovery across Suffolk.

Read more >>>

poppy from southwold putting green

Control Outbreak Management Fund (COMF)

The 2022 ‘Living with COVID’ grant programme is investing £65,000 in 10 Suffolk town centre projects. Funding will support good practice and help enable the transition of communities and business to live with COVID within town centres.

Read more >>>

young chefs

Visitor Economy Network Initiative (VENI)

VENI is the Visitor Economy Network Initiative that will bring educators and SMEs closer together and at the same time create opportunities for young people to develop work-ready skills and participate in, and learn more about, their local visitor economy.

Read more >>>


Suffolk’s Visitor Economy



Outcomes and Workstream Focus


Upcoming workshops & events

Our partners

all about ipswich logo
Bury st edmunds and beyond logo
Discover Newmarket logo
the suffolk coast logo
visit east of england logo
visit suffolk logo