Posts Tagged Holiday

Pier’s back

Grand pier

Just two years after it was devastated by fire, the pier at Weston-super-Mare was due to re-open as we went to press. A £51 million refit has left the pier well equipped to meet the needs of 21st century holidaymakers, with new high-tech rides and games, including two genuine formula one simulators where drivers can see just how good they really are.

The pier’s owners, brother and sister Kerry and Michelle Michael, are aiming high with the ambitious project. They want the pier to be an all-year attraction,with a hall large enough to hold 3,000 people for concerts or 1,000 for banquets, as well as conference facilities. Traditional holiday visitors and day-trippers will be catered for by the amusement park, which includes 18 rides, as well as 26 shops and food outlets.

Entrance to the pier remains free, so it will be possible simply to stroll out to sea or sit in the sun, but the Michaels hope the wide range of attractions will see 3.5 million visitors a year spending an average of £4.60 each.

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Late booking boost

Preston

A combination of good early summer weather and economic uncertainty produced a late booking surge for UK-based holidays, with many people leaving their holiday decisions to the last minute.

The General Manager of Visit Devon, Rosie Bates, says that there are complex reasons for this trend: “Uncertainty about the economic future and the emergency budget led many people to delay making a decision about their holidays this year. The exchange rate with the euro and dollar and the problems with air travel have all helped to encourage people to holiday at home. On the positive side the good weather has definitely helped attract visitors to make late bookings for holidays in Devon.”

The surge in UK holidays follows news that last year the number of trips made by Brits to foreign countries fell at the fastest rate since the 1970s, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In 2009 the ONS recorded 58.6 million trips, down from 69 million in 2008, and says the number of foreign visitors coming to Britain also fell, though only from 31.1 million to 29.9 million. That’s in sharp contrast to the previous 25 years, when trips abroad grew on average by 4 per cent a year and trips into the UK by 3.2 per cent.

Click here to view list of reports from ONS

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