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New Report - The Seaside Tourist Industry

Friday, 25th June 2010

Report demolishes myths about demise of British seaside tourist industry

·  Seaside tourism directly supports nearly 30,000 jobs in the region.

·  Blackpool has largest concentration of seaside tourist jobs anywhere in Britain

·  Tourism jobs in North West resorts up by nearly 3,000 over the last decade

A major new report released today finds that the seaside tourist industry in England and Wales remains a substantial and growing employer.

The Seaside Tourist Industry in England and Wales, by a team at Sheffield Hallam University, explodes the popular myth that the increase in the numbers of foreign holidays has destroyed the economy of Britain’s own seaside towns. 

In fact, the British seaside tourist industry continues to employ as many people as the whole of the telecommunications sector, and more than the motor industry, the aerospace industry, pharmaceuticals or steel.

The report uses novel methods to disentangle jobs supported by tourism - in shops, hotels, bars and restaurants - from those supported by local consumer spending.  It finds that:

  • The seaside tourist industry in England and Wales directly supports some 210,000 jobs spread across more than 100 resorts.  Large numbers of additional jobs are also supported indirectly through the supply chain.
  • The Blackpool area has the largest single concentration of seaside tourist jobs – more than 19,000
  • No fewer than 58 individual towns each have at least 1,000 jobs in seaside tourism
  • Since the late 1990s employment in the seaside tourist industry has actually increased by about one per cent a year – an overall growth of 20,000 jobs
  • The estimated value to the economy of the jobs in seaside tourism is around £3,600 million.

The report provides local figures on seaside tourism employment for 121 individual resorts around the coast.

Professor Steve Fothergill, from Sheffield Hallam's Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR), who led the team, said: “That a large seaside tourist industry has survived and adapted is good news, not just for seaside towns but for the British economy as a whole. 

"Leisure and tourism is a growing market.  What our figures show is that even in the face of stiff competition from holidays abroad, Britain’s seaside towns have been able to retain and even expand much of their core business. The British seaside tourist industry remains a major employer.  The new government should make every effort to ensure that the industry delivers its full potential in the coming years.”

Peter Hampson, Director of the British Resorts and Destinations Association, said: "People who follow the fortunes of the British seaside tourist industry have always known it is a myth that the industry is in terminal decline, but we have not had the comprehensive and convincing evidence to prove otherwise until now.

"Britain’s seaside resorts face challenges in responding to changing economic circumstances and consumer tastes, but what the Sheffield Hallam report tells us is that in many places around the coast the seaside tourist industry is still alive and well – and growing.

"The seaside tourist industry has been written off too often.  This report highlights its resilience.”

Notes for editors:

1.For interviews with Prof Fothergill and Peter Hampson please contact Laurie Harvey in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on (0114) 225 2621 or email laurie.harvey@shu.ac.uk

2. The report can be obtained on the CRESR website at www.shu.ac.uk/cresr or by contacting the press office on the number above.

3.  The Seaside Tourist Industry in England and Wales: Employment, economic output, location and trends is by Christina Beatty, Steve Fothergill, Tony Gore and Ian Wilson from Sheffield Hallam University. It was co-financed by the British Resorts and Destinations Association, North West Development Agency, South East of England Development Agency and Visit Wales (Welsh Assembly Government).

Estimated average year-round employment directly supported by seaside tourism,  by town, 2006/8

no. of jobs

 

no. of jobs

Greater Blackpool

19,400

Porthcawl

1,400

Greater Bournemouth

12,100

Porthmadog

1,400

Greater Brighton

11,900

Hunstanton

1,300

Torbay

9,200

Ilfracombe

1,300

Isle of Wight

7,900

Lowestoft

1,300

Great Yarmouth

5,600

Padstow

1,300

Newquay

5,300

Whitstable/Herne Bay

1,300

Southport

5,300

Aberystwyth

1,200

Thanet

4,800

Dartmouth

1,200

Llandudno/Colwyn Bay/Conwy

4,600

Brean

1,100

Scarborough

4,200

Cromer

1,100

Southend-on-Sea

3,400

Felixstowe

1,100

Weymouth

3,400

Hayling Island

1,100

Eastbourne

3,300

Looe

1,100

Hastings/Bexhill

3,200

Seaburn

1,100

Southsea

2,900

Lymington

1,000

Skegness

2,800

Aldeburgh

900

St Ives

2,600

Hemsby

900

Tenby

2,600

Lyme Regis

900

Cleethorpes

2,500

Swanage

900

Ingoldmells

2,500

Frinton/Walton

800

Weston-super-Mare

2,500

Hopton

800

Falmouth

2,300

Pwllheli

800

Bridlington

2,200

Redcar

800

Morecambe/Heysham

2,100

Salcombe

800

Minehead

2,000

Sheringham

800

South Shields

2,000

Camber

700

Whitby

2,000

Fowey

700

Clacton

1,900

Grange-over-Sands

700

Rhyl/Prestatyn

1,900

Isle of Sheppey

700

Dawlish/Teignmouth

1,800

Mablethorpe

700

Greater Worthing

1,800

Primrose Valley

700

Folkestone/Hythe

1,700

St. Davids

700

Penzance

1,700

Burnham

600

Bognor Regis

1,600

Cayton Bay

600

Exmouth

1,600

Deal

600

Bude

1,500

Harwich

600

New Brighton

1,500

Lynton/Lynmouth

600

Sidmouth

1,500

Saundersfoot

600

Whitley Bay

1,500

Seahouses

600

Kessingland

1,400

Selsey

600

Mumbles

1,400

Southwold

600

(continued)

no. of jobs

Aberaeron

500

Abersoch

500

Barmouth

500

Fishguard

500

Perranporth

500

Saltburn-by-the-sea

500

Tynemouth

500

Wells-next-the-Sea

500

Withernsea

500

Borth

400

Filey

400

Hornsea

400

Mevagissey

400

New Quay

400

Seaton

400

Sand Bay

400

Skipsea

400

Benllech

300

Budleigh Salterton

300

Chapel St Leonards

300

Criccieth

300

Harlech

300

Silloth

300

Arnside

200

Barry

200

East Wittering

200

Greatstone

200

Portreath

200

Tywyn

200

Westward Ho

200

Amble

100

Dymchurch/St Marys Bay

100

Mundesley

100

Sutton-on-sea

100

West Mersea

100

Watchet

 less  than 100

Rhosneigr

 less  than 100

Source: Authors' estimates based on ABI

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