Hospitality businesses have reported a surge in bookings for this summer as UK seaside vacations are expected to remain popular and overseas travel concerns persist.
Lynn Jackson, vice president of the Scarborough Hospitality Association, said: “I think so many people have rediscovered the coastlines in between the lockdowns and the benefits of a trip to the coast.
“Scarborough, Whitby and all that coastline has a lot to offer. All our members are as busy as possible.
“Bookings are coming in, Open Air Theater has a lot to do with it… I do get the feeling from most of the people we actually interact with that they’re getting busier too.”
New data from Sykes Cottages ranks Whitby and Scarborough as the UK’s two most popular holiday destinations in 2022, with Whitby topping the list.
Danny Smith, chairman of Pub Watch Group in Scarborough, said: “Hopefully people will still stay and keep money in the country rather than going abroad, especially with the big Armed Forces Day coming up in June. first, it must be a good week for the city!”
This summer’s tourist season will be the city’s first “test” since the lockdown, with travel abroad and tour packages now virtually unrestricted. In a recent interview with business magazine Fortune, the CEO of Expedia Group said he predicts summer 2022 will be “the busiest travel season ever.”
Sykes Cottages analyzed their December 2021 booking data to identify Whitby and Scarborough as the top two holiday destinations, which also includes Cornwall and Anglesey as other popular destinations.
John Senior, chairman of the South Bay Merchants Association of Scarborough, said the past year has been a very successful season for the entire city, giving businesses confidence in their investment.
“We would like to see a really busy season that will be good for tourists, business, investment and market confidence,” Mr. Senior said. “I think we need to continue to invest heavily in our hotels and restaurants.
“Those industries that serve the tourism industry as well as locals because they are improving the menu for our local selection to attract people who come to live, work and play in Scarborough. If we can improve this, then it will give more opportunities to attract new people to come and invest in our city.”
Janet Deacon, tourism and cultural manager for Scarborough Council, said: “As the local tourism economy continues to recover strongly from the challenges of the past two years, it is fantastic that all three cities are among the top destinations to visit this year. “
“We cannot operate without an available workforce”
Leaders from Scarborough tourism-related business associations have warned that staffing shortages are affecting the industry.
Seasonal hospitality has been hit by a shortage of staff due to the impact of Covid on hiring, as well as the impact of Brexit on EU workers.
John Senior, chairman of the South Gulf Traders Association, said: “There are concerns that we are reaping a bit of the perfect storm from Covid and Brexit. It’s a symptom of a growing economy… but we can’t function without an available workforce.”
Lynn Jackson, vice president of the Scarborough Hospitality Association, said a number of hotels are struggling to hire chefs.
“That means you are cutting menus, hours and tables and that will have an impact in that regard, but hopefully things will improve by summer,” she said.
Danny Smith, chairman of the Scarborough pub watch group, said: “I think everyone was struggling. Staffing has been a problem for many hospitality establishments.”