Huge Potential on the English Coast!


Huge Tourism Potential on the English Coast!

Coastal tourism has the potential for strong economic growth if small independent businesses are offered the right support, according to a new report by the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA).

Pulling together seaside consumer research at national and local level for the first time, Coastal Tourism in 2015 includes analysis of academic papers, Government statistics and data from VisitEngland and other key tourism organisations.

“There is very little academic or commercial research focusing purely on coastal tourism even though this sector is worth in excess of £7 billion,” comments Samantha Richardson, NCTA director.

“Although coastal resorts have been largely overlooked until now, there are some shining beacons where collaborative partnerships are working extremely well. By learning from them, sharing best practice and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, there is significant potential to accelerate growth in our coastal resorts.”

The NCTA report says specific sectors should be targeted and resort destinations should work together in public and private partnerships.

“Coastal tourism is a major employer in England and Wales, supporting more than 210,000 jobs, worth an estimated £3.6 billion,” says Ms Richardson. “That’s the same as the telecoms sector.

“However, there is a national skills shortage, and staff recruitment and retention can be more challenging because of the seasonal nature of the product.

Seaside tourism comprises small businesses, family-run B&Bs, cafés and guesthouses, which often need support to attract new customers, tap into new markets and address the problems of seasonality.”

From its research, the NCTA report recommends targeting specific sectors – such as health and wellness and business events – and developing ways to extend the summer season into the off-peak months.

One in five people in the UK take a dedicated wellness break, but only eight per cent of these are currently to the coast. And while few coastal resorts can compete with the major city centre facilities to draw larger conferences, they could attract smaller, regional business events.

The report also outlines priority areas for further research, and suggests analysis of food, culture and activity-based tourism – specifically water sports, golf, walking and cycling. This would help address the perception that seaside resorts shut down completely outside the peak summer season.


Notes to editors: Coastal Tourism in 2015: A summary report of opportunities and challenges for growth in coastal towns can be downloaded here:

Click here to view the report on our Resource Hub

The National Coastal Tourism Academy is a Coastal Communities Fund project that analyses the nature of coastal tourism to help boost jobs and the coastal tourism economy. It works with academia and the tourism industry to bridge gaps in research, visitor experience, training and skills. Having worked initially in Bournemouth in partnership with Bournemouth University and the local tourism industry, the NCTA is now working with coastal resorts nationally.

To see the NCTA’s work, visit its Resource Hub:

Click here to visit the Resource Hub

For further media information, please contact Sheron Crossman, Marketing and Communications Manager, or tel: 01202 962565.