MISERABLE weather saw visitor numbers plummet as the Easter weekend turned into a damp squib for Bridlington’s tourism industry.
Despite some braving the rain the visit the town, the large numbers seen in previous years failed to materialise as Bridlington struggled to emulate last year’s warm weather.
But with a packed summer of events including the visit of the Olympic Torch and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, along with a national tourism campaign, residents and businesses are optimistic of a better summer ahead.
Easter activities at Sewerby Hall suffered from a drop in visitors and the seafront saw none of its usual Bank Holiday popularity.
Last year Bridlington enjoyed its busiest Easter weekend for years as the town’s guest houses, shops and attractions were filled to bursting point.
The 2011 Easter Bank Holiday weekend saw almost 3,000 cars use Bridlington’s Park and Ride facility – carrying 12,000 visitors – and temperatures peaked at 16 degrees.
This year however temperatures struggled to get beyond 10 degrees and rain fell on Brid between Thursday and Monday.
Statistics from the Easter weekend also revealed a large drop in the number of people using the Park and Ride, with just 842 cars and 1,202 people making use of the service between Friday and Monday.
Martin Burnhill, coastal services manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The Park and Ride was disappointing. We’re not talking about a lot of cars, so it has got off to a very slow start.
“Even when the weather is bad I think people still need to go out for the day, it’s just they won’t come in such great numbers, and if – continued on Page 3
the weather is bad they will think twice before spending money. Having said this, I’m sure some of Bridlington’s indoor attractions did well despite the weather.”
Bob Hillery, President of the Bridlington Tourism Association, said: “When the weather is bad there is always a drop in visitors, the weather is of paramount importance.
“I think all seaside resorts are dependant on the weather. There were a few people in town but they were mainly on day trips and very few of them stayed over.
“It certainly is a big change from last Easter.”
Ruby Wilson, owner of Ruby’s Grill on the seafront agreed the rain had certainly affected business over the weekend.
She said: “It was all to do with the forecast that was given. We did have a little rain but it was not that bad.
“If we get a good weather forecast it brings everyone to the coast and on Monday it just never really got going.”
Although the drizzle did lead to fewer people attending Sewerby Hall’s Easter weekend activities, the events still proved to be a success especially on Good Friday when over 100 runners turned up to complete a course around the estate.
A jousting event on Saturday also brought in the crowds, and the opening of the Hall’s new children’s play area ensured the weather failed to ruin all the fun.
Despite the rain this weekend some businesses remain optimistic.
Peter Allen, from Mr Moos Ice Cream on the seafront, said: “With my business good weather is extremely important.
“It has been quite a quiet Easter, but we had a fantastic March, and so many people came it was like summertime, it’s all just swings and roundabouts!”