Lincolnshire preps for post-lockdown seaside boom

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Ingoldmells councillor Colin Davie says that a local seaside resurgence is on the cards post-Covid… but that tourists are likely to shun cash. What will that mean for the local amusements sector?


According to local media, Lincolnshire County Council is preparing itself for a “huge influx” of visitors once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The authority’s economic councillor and Ingoldmells representative Colin Davie made the prediction earlier this week: but warned that local businesses needed to remain “digital-ready” in order to benefit from the uptick in visitation.

“There is a pent-up demand for the British public to get back to the coast and the outdoors, and we expect a huge rush of visitors to the county once restrictions are lifted,” he said.

According to Davie, seaside stakeholders should spend this downtime “investing and preparing for the future,” and wasn’t shy about listing the myriad ways in which Lincolnshire was attempting to do just that.

“We have projects like the Huttoft Boat Shed Cafe and all our work we are doing with the National Trust on the coastal country park, as well as opening footpaths and walks for visitors and residents,” he explained. “We will be ready to welcome people and we’re making sure to get the planning in place.”

But in remarks which seem to prove the point that ongoing regulatory reform must address the issue of card payment for amusement machines, Davie went on to say that it was vital all tourist-facing coastal business must be “digital enabled.”

“We are moving towards a digital economy – so if they don’t have card machines, they need to be preparing themselves for a world where cash doesn’t exist,” he said. “Especially after the pandemic, people want to pay by card, so we need to get people ready and make sure things like websites are up and fully functional because that’s how people are going to stay and book.” Nevertheless, in the short term, Davie’s optimism about nascent tourism demand was shared by Skegness town council leader Steve Larner.

“I think we need to be positive about the season to come, lots of people haven’t been on holiday in over a year and will be desperate to get out to the coast,” he said. “There’s a huge demand to be a visitor again so what we need to do is to hunker down and follow the government guidelines now and make sure this year’s season happens.”

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