Bumper summer season

Crowds at Skegness.
Crowds at Skegness.

Tourism and retail business on the Lincolnshire Coast are celebrating a bumper summer season.

The Bank Holiday Monday washout failed to dampen spirits with Skegness set to build on the success the booming visitor economy.

The area attracts more than four million visitors annually with summer 2015 set to continue the upward trend.

The summer also saw the launch of the Skegness Ambassadors to welcome visitors and provide information about the area’s attractions.

Skegness Pier director Carolyn Wilkinson believes the variety of attractions in the resort proved a major draw for visitors.

Carolyn said: “We have been delighted by the number of visitors to the pier which are up on last year.

“There are lots of interesting comments on TripAdvisor with regard to the excellent value that Skegness has to offer as a day trip destination.

She added: “Hopefully the many satisfied visitors who have visited Skegness this year will return again next year and in the years to come so Skegness as a destination will continue to flourish.”

The Hildreds Shopping Centre has also seen soaring sales with figures for July up nine per cent on last year.

Centre manager Steve Andrews said: “The summer has been fantastic, absolutely brilliant. Some of our stores are doing extremely well with higher sales than branches at large city shopping centres like Meadowhall in Sheffield. One has the fifth best sales out of 603 stores nationwide.

“With investment in the town such as the new aquarium Skegness has got a fantastic future.”

Butlins resort director Chris Baron described the summer as “very good” with bookings up on last year.

He said: “The most pleasing thing is the amount of people that are prepared to rebook for next year so we are over 20 per cent up compared to where we would have been last year at this stage .

“September, October, November and December also looking very strong which is great news.”

Skegness Natureland celebrated its 50th anniversary this year

Director Richard Yeadon said: “We get lots of excellent reviews commenting on how people come back year after year - some people who came as kids back in the sixties and seventies are now bringing their grandchildren to see us.”

Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Association (SECWHA) office manager Elizabeth Sargent said accomodation bookings had received a boost from major events such as the SO Festival.

She added: “Hotels have had a good season and it is looking good for them across the board into 2016. We are working together with the Skegness Partnership and Destination Management Organisation to make the town more vibrant.”

Portfolio Holder for coastal economy, Coun Steve Kirk, said: “The message I’ve received from many of the businesses I’ve spoken to is that Skegness is doing well and having a good season after a slow start.

“The real challenge for Skegness and the other coastal resorts is creating an offer that appeals to visitors outside the main summer period and attractions like the recently opened Aquarium and AMCA motorcycling racing support that effort.”