Too many cheap hotels are ‘harming Eastbourne’s image’

The council believes the town needs to attract a 'broader range of visitors'
The council believes the town needs to attract a 'broader range of visitors'

Council chiefs have complained that Eastbourne does not have enough pricey hotels – just two weeks after trumpeting the town’s top 10 ‘bargain holiday’ rating.

Travel company Trivago revealed last month that Eastbourne came eighth in a list of bargain UK holiday resorts. When asked by the Herald if that meant the town had too many cheap hotels, the council argued that an average of £87 ‘really isn’t that cheap’ and that the announcement from Trivago ‘shows our competitive edge’.

However, just a month later, a report went before the Borough Council’s cabinet committee this week bemoaning the lack of top tier hotels in Eastbourne.

The report read, “The Tourist Accommodation Study (2015) considers that Eastbourne has an oversupply of lower quality accommodation, particularly that which previously catered for the coaching market.

“This ultimately drives down the average room rate and occupancy levels, particularly during the low season, and means that owners are unable to continue to invest in the maintenance and upkeep of the property resulting in a downward spiral of poorer quality stock.

“This has implications on how visitors perceive Eastbourne in terms of the quality of their visit and the likelihood of them returning or providing recommendations. It also impacts on how hotel investors perceive Eastbourne, which restricts the ability of the town to diversify the tourist accommodation offer to attract a broader range of visitors to Eastbourne thereby enhancing the destination’s overall competitiveness.”

The conclusion was that the town should focus on ‘quality’ rather than ‘quantity’.

Councillor Steve Wallis added, “This is about improving quality in the long term, however Eastbourne still needs to remain competitive in a national and international marketplace.”