Tens of thousands of visitors flocked to Eastbourne at the weekend as temperatures soared – providing a much needed boost for the town’s economy.
A long winter, followed by the coldest Easter weekend on record and dismal weather in May and much of June had seen a gloomy start to summer but as a whopping 25,000 plus visitors headed to the seafront to watch the 999 Emergency Services display at the Western Lawns, businesses reported a boost in sales.
As temperatures hit around 25 degrees Celsius the town was it busiest yet this year and with people snapping up ice-creams and refreshments as they enjoyed a series of attractions on show including the continental market. People also basked in the sun which made it the busiest weekend in 2013 for deck chair hire.
Marino Pesce, owner of Fusciardi’s, said the good weather was a clear boost for his business, adding, “On Sunday we probably had the best day of the year.
“It was busier than Airbourne last year.
“It was really non-stop and that hasn’t happened for quite a while. The ice-cream sales were fantastic.”
Jerome Farrow, chairman of Eastbourne Hospitality Association and owner of Marine Parade Hotel said, “It’s been busy and it’s nice to see it that way.
“We were full on Saturday night and having looked online at other hotels in the area Eastbourne had very few spaces available on that night.
“We need it to continue and enjoy a good July and August to make up for the other months.”
As the town gears up for its next weekend of events with Eastbourne Extreme on Saturday and Sunday, Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure, Cllr Carolyn Heaps, added, “Eastbourne saw beautiful sunny clear skies this weekend with the highest temperature being 25.2C, bringing thousands to Eastbourne’s beaches and seafront. The weather plays a significant role for Eastbourne tourism and it was a delight to see so many at the beach and in the sea.
“The town was its busiest yet this year, with visitors enjoying the many cafes, range of shops and tourist attractions in the area, including the continental market, pier and bandstand and it was the busiest weekend this year for deck chair hire.
“I’m delighted that our local services were supported with over 25,000 visitors went to the 999 Emergency Services display at the Western Lawns, estimated to have at least 5,000 more visitors than last year and that the weather is set to stay throughout July, which is fantastic as Eastbourne Extreme is next weekend July 13-14!”