Tourism boom expected for Bognor Regis

Bognor Regis should expect a ‘bumper year’ for staycations and other tourism as fewer people will be holidaying abroad.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 10:54 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 10:58 am
A ferris wheel which recently appeared by the seafront. Picture by Paul Wells

The change in habits is largely due to travel restrictions and safety concerns amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but with fewer people travelling abroad coastal towns are expecting a boom in ‘staycations’ and other local tourism.

Chairman of Bognor Regis BID, Jason Passingham said: “I think a lot of people are still nervous about travelling. For England and just Bognor Regis staycations are going to see an increase this year.

“It is an opportunity for businesses to grab with both hands. If we can get it right now, people will come back.

“We are lucky, we have flat promenades and a pebble beach which is somewhere to sit even at high tide and you can still social distance and enjoy the seaside.

“We have got great parks and space that a lot of seaside resorts don’t have.

“I really think that we can display that we really are a great place to come. At the end of the day, the BID are working on various projects and lots of them promote what we have now.”

Jason added that a lot of businesses in the town have been upping the ante with decorations making the town centre a more attractive place to visit.

“A lot more shops are making an effort and putting bright window displays up.

“Our three ice cream shops are busy at the moment showing that people are already spending their leisure time in Bognor and there have been queues out of fish and chip shops.

“This could be a bumper year for staycations in Bognor Regis.”

Butlin’s Bognor resort director, Jeremy Pardey said he is ‘absolutely’ expecting a high demand with many people not travelling abroad this year due to the pandemic. He said: “We have had more guests booked in than we could afford so we have had to tell some guests they can’t come because we won’t want to put them at risk.

“We’re at the hands of the government and we will react accordingly. We have protocols in place and do the right thing for our guests and local community. We don’t anticipate any problems.

“We are not operating anywhere near the volume of guests but we are putting exactly the same shows on. We are still delivering the Butlin’s experience.”

Victoria Hilditch, owner of Vinco Marketing and Love Bognor Regis, said: “I think it is a great way for us to explore our own country.

“Because so many people go abroad but don’t get to see the beauty in our own country.

“It is a great opportunity for visitors to come and enjoy Bognor Regis and the surrounding areas.”

Victoria said the area has ‘so much to offer’ with a traditional seaside, resort, cathedral and castle all local to Bognor Regis.

She added: “During their time here there is plenty to explore and enjoy with all the family – whether that is using Bognor Regis as a base but also because it is a lovely family resort for people to come and enjoy the seaside.”