By Daniel Hunter
The UK's seaside resorts are set for a welcome boost to the local economy over Easter, with traditional hotspots including Blackpool and Bournemouth set to benefit the most from the long-weekend, according to data from Worldpay.
The payment processing firm said amusement parks in family-friendly Blackpool saw card transactions rocket by as much as 451% over the Easter weekend in 2014, compared to the average. Local hotels around Blackpool also saw card payments rise by 51% during the four day period.
Local tourist attractions in Bournemouth enjoyed a huge 75% spike in takings as families rushed to take advantage of the long weekend by visiting famous landmarks including the Oceanarium and Poole Harbour. The influx of tourists also benefits local hotels with card takings increasing by 31%, when compared to the average.
Tourist attractions are also the real winners at Easter around the rest of the UK, as seaside businesses see a substantial uplift in British visitors enjoying holiday activities over the long-weekend. In 2014, Cromer and Skegness saw a 116% and 144% boost in card sales, whilst Blackpool and Whitby saw an increase of 94% and 55% respectively.
Revellers heading to Brighton and Bournemouth could add as much as 25% to the coffers of local pub and bar owners, while in Plymouth pubs could see takings rise by 30%, against the average. Restaurant owners in Margate and Whitby also saw takings rise by 46% and 38% respectively over the last Easter period.
Dave Hobday, managing director of Worldpay UK, said: “Seaside towns have done well from the staycationing trend which emerged during the downturn, and according to some estimates, holidaying in the UK is now worth £15bn** to the UK economy. Our rekindled love-affair with the Great British seaside has given resorts an opportunity to regenerate, and attract a new type of clientele, from young families through to party-goers.
“Big spending tourists are a sure bet this Easter, so it’s important that local businesses do everything they can to stay ahead of the competition. Taking card payments, rather than relying on tourists to constantly count out their cash, will help businesses cope over the busy periods. Staffing and service levels also need to be at their best to make a good impression and hopefully ensure repeat visitors over the summer months.”