Bridlington can’t afford to miss out on its slice of the money generated by Hull’s role as City of Culture in 2017, key figures have warned.
The town’s mayor has vowed to work with his counterpart in Hull, but hotel owners are worried that not enough is being done to encourage guests from around the UK to stay on the Yorkshire coast.
Organisers admitted there was a shortage of accommodation in the city centre last month, and urged Hull residents to think about allowing visitors to stay in their spare rooms.
But Bob Hillery, president of Bridlington Tourism Association, said the resort’s family-run establishments could have plugged the gap.
He said: “I think it was a mistake when they asked people in Hull to open up their spare rooms and let visitors stay there.
“That was a kick in the teeth for hotels in the surrounding areas.
“Bridlington doesn’t seem to have been mentioned and we are only just over half-an-hour away by car and 40 minutes on the train.
“The Spa is trying to tempt people here with their shows during the City of Culture, but other people are not shouting loud enough.
“When people come to stay with us, we often tell them to spend a day in Hull. They come back and they are surprised by all the wonderful museums and attractions. Now, we need Hull to send their visitors to Bridlington.”
Mayor Coun Liam Dealtry said he has already been discussing the issue with councillors in the city, to make sure Bridlington is not left out.
“I have spoken to the Lord Mayor of Hull and he is very interested in working with us,” Coun Dealtry said.
“Hull has admitted it is struggling with having enough accommodation for visitors, so we need people to come to the B&Bs and hotels in Bridlington. We’ve got the space.
“Then we can showcase our new leisure centre, Sewerby Hall, Danes Dykes, Burton Agnes Hall and one of the best bays in the country.
“This isn’t just Hull’s year of culture, it’s ours as well. We can’t afford to miss out.
“There are millions and millions of visitors who could potentially come to Bridlington.
“We have decent transport links to Hull and we need to spread the word about the other towns and villages in this area.”
The programme for the first three months of the City of Culture was released last week, and the promotional booklet features events at Bridlington Spa.
Mr Hillery said it was impossible to estimate what the annual event could be worth to Bridlington.
He added: “I hope there will be some spin-off for our hotels. We have never been involved in anything like this before so we don’t know what to expect.”