This year looks like being one of great uncertainty in many sectors of the economy and especially in the tourism sector.
A number of factors are going to make people think twice before booking a holiday.
Not least is the position of the economy. At the start of the last economic downturn we saw lots of last minute bookings. The referendum in June of this year is likely to create equal uncertainty.
This has already started to take effect with the fluctuations in the exchange rate between the Euro and the Dollar to the Pound.
So which way will people jump? My suggestion will be that there will be uncertainty in the domestic holiday market. For Bridlington it may be a bonus in that, as a traditionally low cost holiday destination, the risk factor is reduced. Only time will tell.
Additionally, of course, there is the introduction of a large number of potential new bed stock into the town. This could see an increase of up to 120 new bedrooms, sleeping up to 300 people.
Will this benefit the town or will it just have the effect of changing where the current visitor stays? Once again, only time will tell.
On a more positive note, there has definitely been an increase in interest in the Old Town area of Bridlington over the last few weeks since the launch of the Dad’s Army movie.
As a director of the company operating the Old Town Gallery and Information Centre, it is exciting to see the high street benefitting from increased footfall.
Traditionally over Winter, Bridlington does quieten down and create the opportunity to take stock. There are many projects under way around the town to prepare and get ready for the coming year.
The Old Town Gallery has seen a great refurbishment, supported by an East Riding of Yorkshire Council High Street Grant, and is now fully back open for business.
At The Royal we have combatted the quietness in part by running Patchwork and Quilting retreats. To this end we have just waved goodbye to Jacqueline de Jonge from the Netherlands, who has provided her own world renowned method of teaching for a full six day break.
So to wind up my look at tourism this week I am pleased to say that tomorrow and Saturday sees our second Charity Quilt Show at The Royal Bridlington.
We have been lucky to have been featured in all of the major Patchwork publications and so hopefully there will be many more people visiting the town to see some wonderful quilts along with the beauty of Bridlington.
Who knows the new visitors may turn into long-term Brid lovers.