Scarborough and Skegness are just two resorts reporting bumper bookings for this summer, as more than 30 percent of UK residents plan a domestic holiday. However, staff shortages still loom large.
With Visit Britain recently reporting that one third of UK adults are planning a domestic holiday before September, perennial favourite resorts Skegness and Scarborough are poised to welcome a summer boom.
Following predictions that holidaymakers could deliver £4.9bn to local economies in the next three months, the two towns are stepping up their tourism offers in order to meet growing domestic demand.
“It was packed here on the bank holiday, so if that’s anything to go by I think we’ll have a really busy summer,” donkey ride operator John Nuttal said. “It’s safer to holiday in the UK rather than abroad.”
“There’s plenty to do in England, especially Skegness. There’s something for everyone. You’ve got indoor play areas, miles of great beach, everything they need in one place. Of course, the donkeys too. There’s a lot to do outdoors, in open spaces, which makes it a lot better and a lot safer for people.”
Though tourism in Scarborough is unlikely to match the ten million visitors recorded annually pre-pandemic – which in turn delivered £610m to the economy and maintained 200,000 jobs – hotel and leisure bookings are on the rise, alongside footfall to the town’s iconic amusements.
“On Scarborough’s cacophonous seafront, restaurants, pubs and amusement arcades were packed while the town’s ever-present donkeys trundled children along South Bay beach for £3 a ride,” reported the Guardian, adding bookings at Raven Hall hotel “have gone through the roof and soon 140 people will be staying on its 100-acre site.”
However, the report added that “beyond the cheerful din from the penny arcades there is cause for concern: hospitality businesses are suffering from a severe shortage of staff.”
John Senior, chair of the South Bay Traders Association, told reporters many hotels were still trading up to 30 percent below capacity due to staff shortages brought about by self-isolation and Brexit shortages.
“That is really quite a serious situation, from a point of view of supporting businesses and getting us back into a position where we are healthy again for next year,” said Senior. “Because very soon we’re going to be paying taxes and full VAT rates.”