Residents and tourists to the town are not the only ones enjoying the sunshine – traders have also enjoyed a welcome boost thanks to the recent spell of good weather.
The sale of Mr Whippy ice creams along the seafront’s kiosk and at Treasure Island have been on the up and the bandstand has seen a 19 per cent increase on ticket sales compared to last year as many visitors have flocked there during the sunny evenings.
Beach Deck manager Lee Griffin said, “When the sun is shining we are doubly busy. We can see up to 1,200 covers a day.”
Andy Perkins, who runs the ice cream kiosks along the seafront and Cafe Express and Boutique Expresso, said, “We’ve seen a rise in the number of people down on the seafront and the number of people visiting the units. But I do personally feel the town could do more to attract more people to the seafront. We’ve seen a rise in the sale of Pimms and Mr Whippy ice creams.”
Darren Weir, owner of The Mowbray and Eastbourne Hospitality Association chairman, added, “We get last minute bookings coming through when the sun is out and people come back in the future. The weather is a crucial part of the business.”
The new cafe at the Pavilion has also seen an increase in customers compared to last year.
Mark McFadden, president of Eastbourne Unlimited Chamber of Commerce, said, “There are businesses with tourism where it [the weather] does have a direct affect but even if it doesn’t when the sun is out it does tend to put people in a positive frame on mind, which is always a good thing.”
Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure Councillor Carolyn Heaps added, “Online bookings on visiteastbourne.com are already up by a quarter compared to last year and we hope to see the figures continue throughout the year. With tourism bringing in 4.8 million visitors a year to Eastbourne, hot weather can have huge impact on the town’s economy.”