A PAIR of hoteliers have gathered together local businesses and tourism bodies in a bid to make Bridlington busier.
Tim and Fiona Norman, who run the Royal Hotel in Shaftesbury Avenue, Bridlington, arranged the meeting at the Spa last Wednesday after noticing a slow start to the summer season in the town.
Amongst those attending the meeting – called to discuss ways to improve the town’s night time economy and boost the tourism trade – were representatives from tourism bodies Welcome To Yorkshire and Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, the manager and marketing manager from the Spa, local hotel, guest house, restaurant and business owners, and members of community groups.
Mr Norman said: “It was a fantastic and highly productive meeting instigated in order to discuss ways to improve the appearance and visitor experience from within the town.
“Tourism is the biggest contributor to the town’s economy and we need to work on giving our visitors a positive welcome and enough reasons to recommend and return in the future.
“Bridlington and the surrounding area provide some superb attractions and things to do during the day time. The main area of concern is the evening entertainment offerings within the town.”
It was highlighted at the meeting that visitors have a perception that there is little to do in Bridlington after 7pm, so it was discussed whether restaurants and cafes could open later into the evening.
Also discussed was a lack of a coherent brand for Bridlington, despite boasting beautiful beaches and countryside and a host of visitor attractions.
Mr Norman said a lot of positive suggestions were proposed, which included a plan to start a competition to find the local business with the best frontage, and discussions on opening restaurants later and creating a cafe culture in the town.
At the meeting of Bridlington Town Council on the same day, councillors resolved to set up a similar annual competition to reward a business which goes to the effort of improving the front of their premises with a floral display.
The winner, chosen by the Bridlington In Bloom Committee, will be awarded with an engraved cup which will be replaced at the end of the year with a Bridlington Town Council plaque as a memento of their success. A pair of tickets to the Spa panto is also offered as a prize.
Entry forms for the competition will be available on the town council’s website www.bridlington.gov.uk or at their offices in Quay Road.
Mr Norman said: “It is good to see that the town council have had a similar idea to ourselves. Anything that improves the appearance of Bridlington helps the image presented to visitors.”
After the meeting, Jean Illingworth, who owns the Chasing The Light art gallery in Wellington Road, identified the areas the town should be proud of, including; “the best beach in the UK”, The Spa, the David Hockney affect, a seafaring heritage, the harbour, the Old Town, RSPB Bempton, Sewerby Hall, the Priory, the Park Rose Bird of Prey Centre, and a host of local artists and gallerys.
However she also pointed out the problems that could be keeping visitors away – and listed dirty and unkempt areas of the town, a lack of things to do on an evening or in bad weather, poor transport infrastucture and a lack of a coherent image as things that could potentially keep visitors away.
Another meeting has been arranged for Wednesday, July 4, at 7pm at Bridlington Spa.
Any business owner interested in going along should contact Mr Norman at The Royal on 672433.