The day dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ due to the easing of government restrictions that allowed the hospitality industry to reopen, saw less visitors in Swanage than expected as the wet weather kept tourists away.
From yesterday, Saturday 4th July 2020, hotels, B and Bs and campsites, alongside pubs, cafes and restaurants were allowed to restart trading.
While it was busier than some comparable recent weekends, the beach remained quiet with families huddling in the seafront shelters for protection from the poor weather conditions.
The Ship Inn reopened
People enjoying a pint outside
The most noticeable difference was the reopening of some of the pubs in town with people enjoying a pint outside where tables could be socially distanced or where there was room to stand.
As normal there was a socially distanced queue outside the Fish Plaice of people waiting to buy fish and chips. There was a notably large number of eager seagulls hanging around the Square ready to swoop down and pinch some chips off any unsuspecting visitor, which wasn’t that unusual either.
Tourism brings in a significant amount of income into Swanage every summer and the hospitality trade is hoping that from this weekend, that business will pick up in a manageable way.
The Swanage Information Centre
“Help our businesses get back on their feet”
Chair of Dorset Tourism Association, Richard Smith said:
“It’s great that tourism can now reopen in Dorset. We live in a fantastic place with so much to take advantage of, especially after this period of lockdown. The easing of restrictions will help our businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs, which will be welcome news to many.”
Tourist season is not over yet
According to The South West Research Company these are the key facts about tourism in Swanage based on 2018 data:
- 176 thousand staying visitor trips
- 863 thousand day visits
- £74.2 million direct visitor spend
- £75.3 million total visitor related spend
- 1,350 actual jobs supported by visitor related spend
With the rest of July and August still to come, the tourist season is not over yet. Many people can’t or don’t want to go abroad this year, so Swanage businesses may recoup some of their financial losses as the weather improves.