A seaside czar

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Blackpool - a coastal success story

Blackpool – a coastal success story

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) says we need a Seaside csar to help Britain’s ‘forgotten’ seaside towns fight back from ‘decades of decay’.

At the same time, a survey by Butlin’s found that more than half of Britons have not visited the British seaside in the past three years, and 65% believe that the British seaside is run down and in need of investment.

Conversely, the number of Britons staycationing this year seems to be rising but, maybe not to our seaside towns. The BHA report, Creating Coastal Powerhouses, said that businesses in seaside towns are more likely to fail – especially accommodation providers. – and called on the Government to create Coastal Enterprise Zones to encourage businesses to move to and invest in the coast. But the government already has a grant making body called the Coastal Communities Fund which has doled out monies to seaside places, one of the aims being to attract you and I to visit these areas.

as is Bournemouth

as is Bournemouth

 

But do we need a czar, an old fashioned word suggesting dictatorial powers being used by the person who lands the job? What we really need is understanding that many seaside areas have not progressed with the times and don’t offer the sorts of attractions that people today who can visit almost anywhere in the world want to see. And if they have, are we being told about it?
The BHA has produced a seven-point action plan to breathe new life into seaside towns which includes the appointment of a czar; establishing coastal action groups, introducing a different tax environment, creating coastal enterprise zones, infrastructure investment, education and training improvements and tackling social and housing problems.

some of the celebrations from the Tour de France in Harrogate

some of the celebrations from the Tour de France in Harrogate

Nothing in those seven points suggests that one of the necessary tasks is to sell the idea of visiting seaside towns to us. Maybe that is behind the seven ideas but without the promotions to us, we won’t know that changes have taken place. Why isn’t the eighth idea a coastal marketing group? Look at the success of Gary Verity and his team inYorkshire in promoting itself and even encouraging the Tour de France to include the area. Look at the success of Blackpool and Bournemouth in recent years. That’s what seaside resorts need. Some marketing oomph! The BBC TV  Coast series has achieved such a lot in making us aware of what we can see at and near our coastlines. It even won the Tourism Society’s annual award a few years ago.

All these successes seem to be due to marketing and contacting you and I and telling us why we should go there. yes, everything eeds to be in place so that visitors are not disappointed. The two have to go hand-in-hand.

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