Future of Skegness holiday guide uncertain

Skegness beach and pier.
Skegness beach and pier.

The team responsible for the publication of a holiday guide that attracts thousands of people to the coast each year have been shocked to find East Lindsey District Council has pulled the plug on distributing it in future years.

June Howard, business development manager of the Skegness, East Coast and the Wolds Hospitality Association (SECWHA), said she was shocked to find out in the “Executive decision notice” section of the council’s website.

The notice said: “Although the income from advertising sales produces a surplus after production costs, it does not cover the cost of advertising the guide and distribution.”

This year 100,000 copies of the Skegness, Mablethorpe and Lincolnshire Wolds visitor guide were published and there has been an increase in requests for it.

Last month ELDC launched a new tourism website, visiteastlincolnshire.com, which will include a digital visitor guide downloadable as a pdf.

Mrs Howard said SECWHA supported the new website but felt there was still a need for the guide. She said: “This year there was a 100,000 print run. Jolly Fisherman on Tour takes 5,000 alone and Mablethorpe Marathon put about 1,000 in their ‘goody bags’.

“Numbers requesting the guide were up 114 per ecnt in January and I understand that figure has been maintained. In general the feedback on the new ‘handbag’ size has been very positive.

“We support the move to more digital promotion, however feel, especially until the website is fully functioning, there should be a paper copy option for visitors too.

“We believe a fazed withdrawl would more appropriate. One of our members alone gets about 70 percent of their business from guide enquiries and another says she is turning down bookings!

“Most other holiday destinations-Blackpool, Great Yarmouth etc have a printed version as well as a web site. We have also contacted some tourist information offices outside this area and they tell us our guide is very popular and they would hate not to have it available.

“Our executive are meeting this week to look at our options and see if there is a way forward, however the costs of marketing and distribution will probably make it not viable. We have already committed to sponsoring several events/organisations in the area so our resources are limited.”