Skegness boosted by seaside visitors

TOURIST leaders, businesses and local authorities have welcomed a report which identified the resurgence of seaside towns including Skegness as a holiday destination.

The report, collated by leisure firm CSMA Club, identified a rise a 21 per cent rise in visitors and a 23 per cent rise in their spending while on holiday.

It ranked Skegness as the 11th most popular British seaside destination and the seventh fastest growing coastal resort.

Chairman of Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hoteliers Association (SECHWA) Nigel Tett has cautiously welcomed the news.

“It is a good result for Skegness but we need to see that the investment in the area continues otherwise we might see it slip down the rankings,” he warned.

Although Skegness did score highly in terms of visitor numbers other resorts such as Brighton and Blackpool were ranked significantly higher in league tables based on their level of investment in the past decade.

A comparison with another report carried out by Visit England also indicates that the number of visitors to Skegness does not correlate with investment, attractions or tourist related businesses in the town.

According to that report Skegness was the fourth most visited destination for ‘pure holidays’ in the UK in 2010.

Whereas Visit England’s statistics were based purely on visitor numbers to the resort as a whole, the CSMA Club report also included data on tourist attractions and tourism related businesses.

As Skegness scored less favourably when these factors were included, it would indicate that people are coming to Skegness, but not necessarily for the attractions or businesses.

Mr Tett thinks that to maintain high visitor numbers and to support the tourist economy more investment is required to keep attracting holiday makers.

He believes that this can be best achieved with multi-partner initiatives such as the team effort which recently joined forces to organise the Illuminations Switch On event.

Chirman of Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce Glenis Brown shares this opinion.

“A lot of organisations on the East Coast are waking up to the fact that if we promote each other better it helps everyone,” she said.

“We’ve got to put the town on the map instead of looking for everyone else to do it for us. We cannot sell fresh air forever.”

East Lindsey District Council also agrees with the importance of partnership in maintaining Skegness as a top ranking visitor destination.

Portfolio holder for planning and economy, Coun Craig Leyland, said: “I am delighted that this national research shows Skegness remains a very strong resort and one of the most popular in the country.

“It is important that we maintain this momentum to create all year round businesses and new jobs.

“Working with SECHWA and other partners we’re confident that Skegness and East Lindsey can continue to improve economically.”