A late Easter often gives a better result, and the 2019 Easter seemed to have everything lined up just brilliantly. The all important weather forecasts were positive and the weather produced as promised, lovely long Spring days, making the journey to the coast worth the effort.
On the Lincolnshire coast the number of visitor numbers was superb, Skegness at the heart of such was given its first stress test of the year, with roads in from all areas busy. The late Easter allowed the place to also look at its best as the plants and town was well out of the winter season.
Interestingly in the same week an excellent article was in the 'The Morning Advertiser' 22/04/19, by Stuart Stone, titled 'I do like to be beside the seaside; what makes coastal towns such a unique opportunity for pub operators and which ones should be on their radar ?'
The article pulls on the House of Lords select committee on regenerating seaside towns which has been mentioned before on the ICAEW blogs , and how several are seeking to modernise and position themselves going forward.
Skegness as an example has been typical of this in that local councils and the private sector are working to supplement under pressure District Council budgets by the use of BID monies to make the areas clean/ organise activities high and low brow/ look at minor infrastructure areas such as street furniture and signage.
Demand to visit the coastal areas is actually rising, but they need a fairer share of the infrastucture investment to not simply allow current expansion but to grow such and make the coastal areas able to offer year round employment and so elevate the career in leisure to an ever higher standard.
The Morning Advertiser article pulls out many examples of hotspots on the coast and why operators can find an economic reason to invest. Just this week on the foreshore area of Skegness a new Premier Inn has opened with the adjoining restaurant/bars within the Whitbread family alongside, demonstrating how correct the article is, and how if we can find ways to support our own domestic tourist industry the nation wins in many many ways.
Sometimes its easy to overlook what we have and not invest in what the public clearly want, and instead waste our limited taxes on egoistic projects like the HS2, which will be out of date by the time its built and destroy countless miles and acres of our precious countryside.I can only imagine what a fraction of that money would do to say our top 50 seaside resorts, and the payback it would give the nation in safeguarding and expanding areas our people can relax , recharge and play in safety. HS2 in contrast by the time its built, will be outdated as why pay all the extra cost to travel somewhere slightly quicker when technology does it for you with a far lower cost. Technology i hope will not however replace so easily fresh seaside air, paddling in blue flag beach water, or enjoying quality downtime in quality pubs or restaurants all found at our coastal resorts !
UK tourism does not seem to have the voice it should, lets hope we can all speak up for it.