A man who poured more than £600m into Great Yarmouth tourism for almost three decades has announced his retirement as the town searches for a new tourism champion.

Alan Carr, who brought weekly fireworks, Maritime Festival tall ships and sea shanties, the first Great Yarmouth Air Show and a massive regeneration seafront project to the borough, steps down at the end of the year.

He was originally headhunted more than a quarter of a century ago from Skegness to drive the town's tourism sector forward, masterminding TV and radio marketing campaigns, fact-finding visits to other resorts and accessed funding.

Next month, he will hand over to a new CEO for Visit Great Yarmouth to build on his successes and drive the borough forward as a visitor destination, with interviews scheduled for mid-December.

Lyndon Bevan, Visit Great Yarmouth chair, described Alan’s dedication to shaping fresh events and creative marketing campaigns promoting the fun, heritage, and natural assets of the borough as “outstanding.”

He said: “Alan has worked tirelessly, and often in his own time, to promote tourism and work towards improvements. He embraced the Great Yarmouth area and the wealth of all it has to offer, and went above and beyond because he believed in the place he made his family home.

"He had worked with a board of business leaders to for a successful industry that turns over more than £600 million every year and built a reputation for staging high profile events attracting new visitors because of the great mix that appeal to a wide audience.”

Mr Bevan said Mr Carr always grasped every opportunity to promote Great Yarmouth, which he says was highlighted four years ago when he chatted with his showbiz and comedy counterpart Alan Carr on Radio 2's Alan & Mel's Summer Escape to talk up the town to a new audience.