Inside UK seaside town loved by tourists where Russian spy lived in hotel

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    A UK seaside town popular with tourists has been rocked by the recent arrest of a suspected spy for Russia.

    Orlin Roussev has been living in the UK since 2009 and was nicked back in February along with four other people after he was found living in a seaside guesthouse in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

    The Bulgarian national, 45, has since been charged with possessing identity documents with "improper intention" and remains in custody following an Official Secrets Act investigation.

    READ MORE: Daily Star guide to if a Russian spy lives next door – sweet treats to sexy ladies

    The arrest will no doubt have come as a shock to Great Yarmouth's residents and holidaymakers – but travel bosses say the news hasn't impacted the town's booming tourism industry.

    Speaking on behalf of Visit Great Yarmouth's CEO, the organisation's PR representative Liz Blakeborough told the Express: "The arrest of a Bulgarian national living in Great Yarmouth in relation to the Official Secrets Act has not had any effect on tourism in the destination.

    "In fact, visitor figures are strong and predicted to be slightly up on pre-pandemic numbers this summer."

    The town has long been a favourite among UK staycationers and was recently ranked fourth in a top 10 list of Britain's most affordable seaside locations.

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    Analysis by the AA found the average price for a five-night stay at an AirBnB in Great Yarmouth comes to just £792 – while a meal out will set you back just £9.

    Blakeborough added: "The town has plenty to offer both residents and holidaymakers with its 15 miles of sandy beaches and its Golden Mile that's packed with traditional coastal fun."

    And visitors seem to agree – even in the wake of the revelation about the town's possible links to Russian espionage efforts.

    Following the news, tourists have continued to flock to the beach for sunny days out, with one happy holidaymaker writing on Tripadvisor: "The beach, shops, parking etc were all great, close by and easy to get to, with everything you would need for fun on the beach."

    Another chimed in: "A lovely place to visit ,loads to do from pleasure Beach to the pier and possibly 1 of the best beaches in the UK."

    Another dubbed Great Yarmouth's famous Pleasure Beach "good old fashioned fun!"

    But not everyone was so pleased.

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    One disgruntled visitor skipped over the town's alleged Soviet run-in and instead bemoaned the "stench of grease and fat", claiming their stay left them "intimidated".

    "Wow, what can I say, this place is definitely not great!" They wrote.

    "What an absolute dive. It's got to be the worst place I have ever visited. The town is so run down and filthy, rubbish and dog poo everywhere. There is a stench of grease and fat in the air from all the chip, burger and donut places frying all day long.

    "I'm not one to feel intimidated however that's how I felt in this town."

    Roussev, along with Bizer Maicimov Dzhambazov and Katrin Ivanova, have been charged with possession of an identity document with improper intention, contrary to the Identity Documents Act.

    They are due to go on trial at the Old Bailey in January and are yet to enter a plea.

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    • Russia
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