​It’s official – the outlook is sunnier on the coast!

According to a new report from the University of Exeter and the Met Office, people who live near the coast have higher vitamin D levels than their urban counterparts. The report also confirms that the coastline is sunnier than inland, a long-held view of many ‘coasties’.

It’s the first time sunlight and vitamin D levels have been linked to a geographical location and helps add another piece to the health-and-wellbeing-by-the-seaside jigsaw.

Vitamin D helps keep bones healthy, regulates the immune system and can help eczema and asthma, so this research could have major implications for boosting health and wellbeing breaks to the coast.

“Whilst coastal environments can promote physical activity and reduce stress, our study suggests that direct physiological factors could also be important, with higher vitamin D levels potentially explaining some of the effects seen,” says one of the report’s authors, Mark Cherrie.

The stress-busting and health-giving benefits of a trip to the seaside have long been appreciated, but it is only recently the links have started to be established clearly.

Our own NCTA research into the health and wellbeing potential for coastal destinations revealed that one in five people go on a dedicated wellness holiday at least once a year, that’s 1.5 million of all overnight coastal trips in the UK. What’s more, when given a choice, most people (59%) would opt for a coastal setting over a rural one.

There’s now an established link between being on the coast and boosting vitamin levels. We already know health and wellness tourism is a massive area of growth, globally worth £314.8 billion.

The market potential is indisputable, the health-giving properties of coastal escapes is proven. The challenge for coastal resorts is delivering the product and visitor experience to match the demand.

By Sheron Crossman