ARRIVE into Halstead on a coach and enjoy a cup of tea in one of the lovely coffee shops.

Take part in a tour of some of the prize winning Halstead in Bloom hotspots before indulging in a pub lunch.

Then spend the afternoon perusing Halstead Antiques Centre before returning home.

These are just a few of the many ways the joys of Halstead and the surrounding villages could be enjoyed if all the tourist opportunities available were utilised.

Tourists are vital to the success of so many businesses and to the vibrancy of a town.

The trick is to lay out what an area has to offer, what makes it special and then how best to promote these highlights to the benefit of all.

This is exactly what many in the town are hoping to help with in 2018.

Halstead Chamber of Trade plans to liaise with groups and businesses about how to bring more of the tourist pound to Halstead.

There are an estimated 40,000 visitors to Halstead each year but the number could still be so much higher with the town a perfect venue for daytrippers.

What is needed is for all those with an interest to make the most of the highlights and find solutions to the low ones, such as the number of public toilets or the state of the river.

The good news is there are a lot of people who want to do just that.

The town council, the chamber of trade, shopkeepers, publicans and hoteliers all want the same thing.

There is a will so there must be a way. Those lucky enough to live in or near the town know how lucky they are and it is time to make others realise too.