The demise of the British seaside resort is exaggerated, with the sector providing significant employment for hotel, bar and restaurant workers, according to a new report
A study of the tourist industry in England and Wales by Sheffield Hallam University found the sector had, since the late 1990s, actually created 20,000 jobs and now contributes £3.6bn to the economy each year.
In total the seaside tourist industry supports some 210,000 jobs ( with around half in the hotel, bar, restaurant and cafe sector) across more than 100 resorts.
This makes it a bigger employer than the telecommunications, pharmaceuticals or motor industry in Britain.
Professor Steve Fothergill at Sheffield Hallam’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, said: “Leisure and tourism is a growing market. What our figures show is that even in the face of stiff competition from holidays abroad, Britain’s seaside towns have been able to retain and even expand much of their core business.
“The British seaside tourist industry remains a major employer. The new government should make every effort to ensure that the industry delivers its full potential in the coming years.”
Blackpool has the largest single concentration of seaside tourist jobs with more than 19,000.
British Hospitality Association boss Bob Cotton recently claimed the coalition government would be better for British tourism than the previous Labour leadership.