Organisers of a national walking conference held in Swaffham at the weekend are hoping that the event will give the area a big tourism boost.
More than 60 members of the Walkers are Welcome network from across Britain attended the two-day event, which was held at the Green Britain Centre and the Assembly Rooms on Saturday and Sunday.
And Kate Francis, project development officer for the Iceni Partnership, which hosted the event, was delighted with the response from delegates.
She said: “We were able to take people who haven’t visited the area before and they want to come back.”
The conference was supported by presentations from West Norfolk Council tourism officials, as well as the Nar Valley Project and the Brecks Partnership.
Currently, Swaffham is the only town in East Anglia to be a member of the Walkers Are Welcome scheme, which aims to encourage communities to offer high quality services, information and well-maintained walking routes to visitors.
Delegates were also able to enjoy several walks during the weekend, including a heritage route around Swaffham and a walk around Castle Acre and the Nar valley.
Officials now hope that the conference will boost visitor numbers for events including Swaffham’s walking and cycling festival, which is due to take place again next June.
And Mrs Francis, who is a member of the Walkers are Welcome national executive committee, said some visitors had also expressed an interest in returning to the area for the Brecks Food Festival next autumn.
She also hopes that communities in and around the Swaffham area will follow the town’s lead in joining the network and help to make it more attractive to visitors.
“If we can put a few more dots on the map, that would be fantastic”, Mrs Francis said.
Anyone interested in finding out more should contact Mrs Francis on 01760 722800 or visit www.walkersarewelcome.org.uk.