Coastal Tourism 2016 - new report!


Seaside tourism has regained its position as England’s largest domestic sector for overnight holiday trips, the National Coastal Tourism Academy’s new report on the state of the industry has found.

The Academy’s annual report, Coastal Tourism 2016, released today shows seaside tourism is worth £8 billion to the economy, with 13.7 million seaside trips, making up nearly one third of overnight holiday stays in England.

The report suggests coastal communities can boost growth further by attracting more off-season visitors, developing health and wellness breaks and reinventing seaside towns as business event destinations.

Coastal towns are being encouraged to increase awareness of English seaside resorts amongst the under 35 market and international visitors.

“There’s no doubt that our coastline is much-loved and cherished by the nation and yet for many, visiting the coast isn’t a high priority - this is fundamentally because of a lack of awareness,” says NCTA director Samantha Richardson.

“What’s needed is stronger communication with clear messages, carefully-targeted for their audience.

“To thrive for the next generation, each destination needs to match its product to the appropriate market, whether that be wellness breaks, shoulder season holidays or to attract a younger audience.”

The report also suggests that destinations could benefit from shared advice, research and learning.

“The coast needs to work collaboratively to shift public perceptions and galvanise the public’s desire to visit and explore our spectacular shoreline,” Ms Richardson added.

The publication comes days after Government announced a £90 million investment in the UK’s coastal communities to revitalise our much-loved seaside areas and boost jobs.

The four-year Coastal Communities Fund will help rebalance the economy and support businesses and communities.

Applications for the £40 million Discover England Fund also opened last month. The fund has been set up to build ‘world-class’ tourism products and experiences that cater to the needs and aspirations of international visitors to boost inbound spend across England, and also benefit the domestic tourism market.

Tourism Minister David Evennett said:

“Britain’s coastline is a beautiful and valuable asset and this report underlines the importance of seaside tourism not only to local communities but the nation’s economy as a whole.

“The Discover England Fund, on top of Government’s investment in coastal communities, will provide further opportunities for seaside towns to grow local tourism and make sure visitors from home and abroad know about the wonderful attractions on offer.”

Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois said:

“Our Great British Coast has enormous economic potential and we are determined to see it thrive all year round.

“Every £1 we invest in our seaside areas has the potential to create an £8 boost for the local economy.

“That is why we have launched a new round of the £90m coastal communities fund to help attract further tourists, boost businesses and generate jobs right across the shore.

Dean of the Faculty of Management at Bournemouth University, Professor Keith Wilkes commented: “The NCTA is a unique project that started three years ago and engages academics, undergraduates, post-graduates, and PhD students.

“The three key markets in the UK are coastal, rural and cities and from the latest figures produced by the NCTA, coastal has gone back to top place.

He added: “Gone are the days when people went for 14 days by the seaside. Now it’s about trying to develop the short-break market either side of the peak summer months, developing products for empty-nesters for example, and upping the quality of the seaside/coastal offer.”


Notes to editors: Coastal Tourism in 2016 builds on the NCTA’s previous 2015 report. The paper reviews all the known data published on coastal tourism and key issues impacting growth on the coast together with research undertaken or commissioned by the NCTA.

The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) 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 with the local tourism industry and Bournemouth University, the NCTA is now working with coastal resorts nationally.

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