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Jobs boost for seaside tourism

PUBLISHED: 12:11 28 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:07 30 June 2010

A new study paints a reassuring picture for the 23,000 jobs in the region which depend on seaside tourism.

The report dispels the myth that the British seaside holiday is in decline and says that employment in the sector has actually grown by 1pc a year since the 1990s.

A new study paints a reassuring picture for the 23,000 jobs in the region which depend on seaside tourism.

The report dispels the myth that the British seaside holiday is in decline and says that employment in the sector has actually grown by 1pc a year since the 1990s.

The findings confirm that the “staycation” is thriving in the face of competition.

Sheffield Hallam University's new report, which uses novel methods to separate jobs supported by tourism - in shops, hotels, bars and restaurant - from those supported by local consumer spending, calculates that the sector generates nearly £500m a year for the East Anglia economy.

And it finds that the seaside tourism industry nationally continues to employ as many people as the whole of the telecommunications sector, and more than the motor, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and steel industries.

Professor Steve Fothergill, from Sheffield Hallam's centre for regional economic and social research, who led the team, said: “That a large seaside tourist industry has survived and adapted is good news not just for seaside towns but for the British economy as a whole.

“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 new government should make every effort to ensure the industry delivers its full potential in the coming years.”

Great Yarmouth's tourism officer Alan Carr said local tourism businesses endorsed the optimism of the report and remained confident about having another great staycation summer despite a relatively quiet start to the season caused by such factors as the World Cup.

He said: “By our calculation tourism contributes £480m to Yarmouth's economy and the town attracts five million visitors a year. The sector sustains jobs for 30pc of the workforce.”

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