When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Holiday bookings on the rise in Weymouth thanks to 'the Olympic effect'
‘THE Olympic effect’ has sparked a rise in holiday bookings to Weymouth.
Holiday lettings agency Holiday Cottages suggests that the 26 per cent year-on-year increase is down to Weymouth hosting the sailing events of last summer’s Games, coupled with Visit Britain’s campaign aimed at encouraging more Brits to take a holiday at home this year.
The increased interest in Weymouth has seen it rocket to the fourth most searched destination in the South West, with a year-on-year increase of online searches of more than 500 per cent.
Hoteliers are hoping that the positive news is translated into firm bookings across all hotels and guest houses after suffering one of the worst seasons in history last year.
Joy Sangster, sales and marketing director at Weymouth–based Dream Cottages, pictured right, said the company is up on bookings compared to this time last year.
She said: “We’re definitely up on this period last year.
“It would appear that people have booked a little bit earlier this year than last year, whether we can attribute that to the Olympics I don’t know.”
Mrs Sangster said that as a local company it’s important to support the local economy. She added: “We have had some people who didn’t come last year because of the Olympics but have come back again this year.”
Dave Price, of the Molyneux Guest House and chairman of the Weymouth Hotel and Guesthouse Leaseholders’ Association, said he wouldn’t know for sure if bookings have gone up until March.
He said: “A couple of people rang up and said they’ve got a feeling that things will be improved this year.
“I’m hoping the pictures from last year’s Olympics will attract more people here and bring back the people who stayed away.”
Sharon Long, proprietor of the Lantana Guest House on the Esplanade, said many guest house owners told her last year was a ‘poor’ year for bookings.
“We started at the guest house in April last year and the takings for the summer were down on the previous year.
“I hope we have a better summer this year, compared to the accounts we had when we got here, the takings last year were pretty poor.”
Holiday Cottages’ bookings figures show that the South West has witnessed a significant boost in domestic holidays, with passenger numbers through Bristol Airport rising for the third consecutive year, making it the only airport in the UK’s top ten to see growth each year since 2009.
Bookings to Bath have risen by 22 per cent, followed closely by Looe and Polperro in Cornwall – witnessing a boost in bookings of 18 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
Tell us what you think on the rise in holiday bookings?