Brighton & Hove appears to be benefiting from the credit crunch as thousands shun overseas breaks and head for the suddenly sunny south coast.
An estimated 100,000 people packed onto the beach on Sunday on the hottest days of the year (28 degrees C) and online holiday firm lastminute.com revealed hotel bookings in the city were up 63% on the same period last year. A similar situation is reported across Sussex as people try to beat the credit crunch and economic downturn.
Next weekend 150,000 visitors are expected for Pride.
Tom Wright, chief executive of tourism body VisitBritain, said: “Economic factors coupled with renewed enthusiasm for what a holiday in Britain can offer present real potential for domestic tourism this summer. Our seaside resorts have undergone a renaissance, with options to suit every taste. Cities have regenerated and destinations and standards are improving”
“With this, and the potential for queues and longs waits at the airport, it is no wonder that Britons are avoiding the hassle and maximising their holiday time by staying at home this year.”
Website lastminute.com has reported an increase in bookings of UK holidays by 16% with holidays in Brighton up 63% and up 66% in Eastbourne.
Mark Jones, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Hotels Association, said the city needed to continue to work at attracting UK residents to holiday in the city.
He said: “Everyone in the tourism sector in Brighton needs to work together with the council to promote the city and push it out to that market so people who have changed their mind and opted to stay in the UK know we are here”.
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Brighton & Hove Hotels Association