With Easter and May’s bank holidays over, and summer holidays not yet begun, June is traditionally a quiet month for the amusements industry. But with 2017’s tourism boom, operators saw an unusual uptick in footfall last month.
Operators across the country saw a better-than-expected June this year, thanks to rising local tourism numbers and warm weather.
“June was really good, better than last year,” Samantha Tunesi, manager of Bournemouth Pier Amusements, said. “We’re getting a lot more families with the weather being better this year.”
Similarly, Kevin Birch, who owns Players Amusements, an AGC in Cannock, said that while the time between Easter and the summer holidays tend to see a dip, June this year has “been steady”. “There’s been some positive figures coming through on previous years,” he said.
For Tunesi, the increased numbers were down to the weakened pound attracting overseas tourists and encouraging more Britons taking staycations this year.
“In Bournemouth we’ve been getting a lot of day trippers – especially on weekends,” she said. “Generally, tourist numbers have been up, thanks to the hot weather. And we’re still getting an influx of holidaymakers, especially coming out in the evenings.
“Plus, in June, you get a lot of people coming down off-season, as they want to avoid the school holidays.” Adam Williams, who owns Tir Prince Leisure Group, which runs several FECs in LLandudno, also spoke of seeing more locals taking staycations – and he reckons that spells good fortune for coming months.
“We’re expecting a good rest of the season,” he said. “I think staycations are going to be up again this year. Bookings are up this year in the caravan parks, so we are looking forward to a good year.”
Even areas which do not usually see high tourism numbers – domestic or overseas – some towns are benefitting from seeing more Britons staying home for summer.
“While we don’t get much tourism in Cannock, people staying at home rather than go on holiday certainly helped us,” Birch said.
When asked what machines had been doing well, all pointed towards more physical and familyorientated offerings. Williams said: “Down the Clown has been a constant in terms of what’s been popular. Ice Man, which involves a water fun has been really good, too.
“I think they’ve been popular because, with throwing a ball or shooting a water gun, they’re not things you can do in your own home.”
He added: “But also, it’s something the parents like playing. As in you’ll see a child start and then by the end of the game, the parent has taken over and the kid’s watching!”
Meanwhile, Tunesi said: “The Basketball hoops have always been a big one for us.
“Our air hockey has done really well as well, it did twice as well the as the machine it replaced,” she added.