July heatwave was just the job

Eastbourne has had a glorious heat wave for the last month, bringing more than double the number of expected accommodation bookings to VisitEastbourne.com.

With a massive 143 per cent increase on bookings compared to July last year, the increase is thanks to both soaring temperatures and an already steady increase in bookings throughout 2013.

With accommodation bookings already up by a third between January and June, and the majority booking three to six months ahead, it is clear that even before the summer began, many were booking up to come to the seaside town.

The resort has also seen a steady growth in bookings on the brand new VisitEastbourne mobile site, giving the impression that busy commuters are booking last minute holidays to Eastbourne while the sun is shining.

A recent report by Expedia.co.uk showed there had been a huge increase in bookings for some of the UK’s top beach destinations – suggesting Brits are flocking to the coast to avoid the stifling city heat.

Last month was the driest July for many years and July 22 was the hottest day in seven years.

According to the report, Eastbourne had a 100 per cent rise in bookings; along with Bournemouth, Cardiff, Brighton, Blackpool, Southampton, Plymouth, St Helier, Torquay and Southport who also saw a rise.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure, Cllr Carolyn Heaps said “We are delighted that Eastbourne has enjoyed some glorious weather over the last month, giving our accommodation bookings an even bigger boost!

The hot weather, coupled with competitive pricing such as four nights for the price of three, has meant fewer empty beds in Eastbourne hotels, along with busy beaches, cafes and attractions, which is extremely positive for the local economy.”

Prior to the heatwave, bookings for 2013 were already up by 34 per cent, thanks in part to the new mobile website and a range of special offers including four nights for the price of three, theatre breaks and competitive pricing throughout all the hotels.

VisitEastbourne has also joined up with the local tourism industry to feature the town in national magazine promotions throughout 2013 including Cosmopolitan, Tesco, Morrisons, That’s Life, Yours and Real People.

With thousands of competition entries, this has given Eastbourne fantastic promotion and has been great for attracting new business.

Councillor Carolyn Heaps added “Despite the unpredictable weather earlier this year, people still enjoy coming to Eastbourne.

“The town has the accolade of being the sunniest place in the UK which always encourages visitors to book, along with the stunning South Downs on its doorstep and miles of unspoilt beaches.”