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Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 17:04 UK
Broads booming despite recession
One of Barnes' Brinkcraft in Wroxham

Despite the recession, Norfolk's tourism industry appears to be booming as some companies on the Norfolk Broads are boasting big increases in trade.

Barnes Brinkcraft at Wroxham has seen increased interest this summer as holiday makers choose to stay closer to home and have a 'staycation'.

"Day boat hire is up between 40-50% this year, which is good news," said Matthew Thwaites of Barnes Brinkcraft.

One reason for the increase is thought to be down to the strong Euro.

"Between January and February, all you heard was gloom. At that stage bookings were slow, but during April things took off," said Matthew.

It's not just families from Norfolk who are choosing to stay close to home, those who might have chosen a foreign holiday are instead coming to try the Broads.

Family holidays

The Curtain family, from Redcar in the North East, chose not to go on their regular Spanish holiday and instead see what Norfolk had to offer.

"For me this is a proper family holiday," said Marsha Curtain.

Unlike foreign beach holidays, the Broads also boast an array of wildlife where children can learn about natural habitats.

"It's fun and you get to see some interesting animals and creatures," said Marsha's son Adam.

It's not just the average family that are making the most of the Broads, celebrities have realised that you don't have to travel to Monaco to cruise on a luxury boat.

Rob and Katie Hanger from Lola Charters use their 35ft motor yacht to give holiday makers and celebrities a luxury view of Norfolk's waterways.

"We had a phone call from Frankie Dettori who, due to unforeseen circumstances, couldn't race at Great Yarmouth but fancied a day out on the Broads," said Katie.

"He wanted to try a spot of fishing and brought five of his children - they had an absolutely brilliant day".

It's not just the boat hire companies that have seen a change, some boat builders and mechanics have seen their businesses grow too.

"In the five years I've been here we've gone from two members of staff to seven," said Gary Alcock, from Brundall Marine Services.

Take a look at our web guide to the Norfolk Broads.


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