Visitor numbers to the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads increased by 4.2% last year to 7.4 million with a 2% increase in spending and jobs in the tourism sector.

The 2011 figures show that visitors spent £469 million compared to £437 million in 2010.

Jobs dependent on tourism rose to from 6,236 to 6,367.

Bruce Hanson, the Broads Authority’s tourism officer, said that the tourism figures had shown a steady rise year on year.

“Tourism in the Broads has held up well in an extremely difficult economicclimate and we should be very proud of this result,” he said.

“This is a tribute to the extremely hard work of many people in the Broadsholiday industry who have pulled together and paid particular attention to theneed to continually improve the quality of the Broads tourism offer. Broadsbusinesses, working closely with the Broads Authority, has resulted in everyonebecoming a winner, the businesses, the environment and the visitors.”

Mr Hanson strongly believes that tourism drives the economy of the Broads and that this success will have a knock-on effect to the wider community.