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Norwich signs up for The Big Weekend

Jim Dawson
5th November 2019

An exciting, new opportunity for Norwich residents to explore and re-discover the city’s wide-ranging attractions is set to launch in April 2020.

Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) has signed a contract with Go To Places to deliver Norwich The Big Weekend which will help to build on its visiting friends and relatives sector and showcase the city’s credentials as a year-round visitor destination.

Go To Places manages The Big Weekend  franchise which launched in 2006 and runs annually in Kent, Hertfordshire and Essex. Jersey will also take part in the initiative in 2020.

The idea behind the Norwich Big Weekend campaign is to create a greater awareness of the destination’s attractions and experiences.  The main activity will be the offer of free entry tickets and special offers (via a ballot system) from local tourism and hospitality businesses to residents to help them discover more of their local area.

The first Norwich Big Weekend will take place on 4 and 5 April 2020 and details of how to enter the ballot will be announced in January. Tourism attractions interested in taking part in next year’s Norwich Big Weekend are invited to get in touch with the VisitNorwich team (part of Norwich BID) on

This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses and attractions to showcase their offering to residents in Norwich and the surrounding areas. Taking place two weeks before English Tourism Week, Norwich Big Weekend is the perfect way to kick off the Spring/Summer tourism season in Norwich by driving public engagement and increasing visitor numbers.

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director of Norwich BID, said: “Norwich Business Improvement District and VisitNorwich are proud to bring Norwich Big Weekend to the city centre in April 2020 working with Go To Places. There is so much to see and do in and around Norwich and we look forward to offering visitors and residents unique attractions to visit. We’ll also be curating a Norwich twist with one-off events and experiences as we kick off our spring/summer season in the City of Stories.

 From our rich history and museums to art galleries and modern attractions, Norwich Big Weekend is the perfect way to enjoy and experience everything that we have on our doorsteps.”

 Go To Places Deputy Chief Executive Officer David Curtis-Brignell added: “Our Big Weekend campaign model is going from strength to strength and we are really looking forward to working with the Norwich team and learning more about the variety and quality of tourism businesses and experiences in the city. 

 “It’s a cliché but we often forget about the attractions and activities close to home. Visiting friends and relatives are very important to local visitor economies and we are passionate about helping destinations to target this sector.

 We know that the Big Weekend is a very affordable and effective way of marketing a destination and the results speak for themselves.   Our data shows that since launching the campaign in Kent, spend from visiting friends and relatives has increased by 50% [1] and during the last five years, the number of local attractions taking part has increased by over 20% and applications for tickets from local residents has increased by nearly 200%.[2]

[1] Between 2013 to 2017, spend from Visiting Friends and Relatives increased by 50% from £135.5 million to £203.3 million.  Source: Visit Kent

[2] Source: Visit Kent

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