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Is Suffolk the go-to place for young people looking to relax?

High Lodge in Thetford. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

High Lodge in Thetford. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015

It is often assumed that young people today like action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled adventure holidays with bustling city nightlife.

Expect highs of 9C as we head into the weekend Picture: NICK BUTCHERExpect highs of 9C as we head into the weekend Picture: NICK BUTCHER

But surprising research by tourism organisations has found increasing numbers of 25 to 34-year-olds are shunning busy city breaks in favour of unwinding in the wilds of Suffolk.

Rather than wanting to party all night or do something active with their holidays, research by the Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation (DMO) found young people responded much more positively online to images of rest and relaxation.

Marketing gurus have therefore been targeting youngsters by using pictures on tourism websites and social media of the county’s most chilled out spots in a bid to bring new audiences to Suffolk.

A year after starting the campaign, hoteliers have already seen an uplift in bookings from young people - an attractive market, as they are more likely to take weekend breaks at short notice than older tourists.

An avocet at the RSPB reserve at Minsmere. Picture: SIMON PARKERAn avocet at the RSPB reserve at Minsmere. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Julian Evans, marketing director for the DMO - an organisation designed to promote tourism to the area - said: “Specifically that 25 to 34 age group has a high propensity to take short breaks at the last minute.

“Research shows that particular age group responds to wellness and well-being. They want to relax, chill out and take a break from the fast pace.”

As part of the research, Mr Evans said: “We were able to to measure and see what imagery worked best and what most interested them.”

Pictures of health spas and relaxation that garnered the most interest, with Mr Evans adding: “They were not into activity shots.”

The Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds Picture: MARTIN GRAYLINGThe Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds Picture: MARTIN GRAYLING

Images of the equestrian scene, places to walk your dog and couples holding hands also worked a treat, he said.

The DMO is now embarking on another round of targeting young people as a way of broadening tourism during the winter off season.

Suffolk traditionally sees high numbers of visitors during summer, with this year’s heatwave helping to drive a 5% to 6.5% growth in tourism to the county.

It is hoped targeting different groups like 25 to 34-year-olds will help businesses reach a wider audience and build on the county’s £640million tourism industry.

Ahead of its free annual conference at Woodbridge’s Ufford Park Hotel on Thursday, November 1, Suffolk Coast DMO chairman Harry Young said: “Our role at the DMO is to communicate a clear, consistent message, raising the profile of the Suffolk coast while attracting visitors to the area.

“We are committed to improving out of season trade and working hard to get our local businesses noticed.”

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