BOURNEMOUTH’S hospitality industry saw the ‘busiest weekend’ since reopening with hotels and bars fully-booked across the bank holiday.
This weekend marked the start of summer, with thousands of sunseekers flocking to Bournemouth’s sunny shores as temperatures skyrocketed to 23C.
The influx of visitors were welcomed with open arms by the town’s hospitality industry who are coming back to life after being allowed to reopen indoors last month.
Falling less than two-weeks since the latest government easing of lockdown restrictions and with a distinct ‘staycation’ holiday boom, the town’s hotels were fully-booked throughout the weekend.
Tim Seward, chair of the BH Area Hospitality Association, said: “Hotels were fully-booked and they were absolutely solid with 100 per-cent occupancy across all the hotels in town.
“If there were any hotels that had cancellations they were able to sell the rooms over again with 20-minutes to half-an-hour.
“We were at Air Festival levels across the town with good rates across the area as well.”
With the brilliant weather expected to continue well into the rest of half term, the booking-spree at the town’s hotels shows no signs of slowing.
Thousands of visitors descended on Bournemouth over the bank holiday and the town is expected to stay busy throughout half term.
Mr Seward said: “Everybody was at 100-per-cent occupancy across the bank holiday weekend and it’s still continuing.
“If the weather stays nice it will keep going – if the weather’s there the guests will come, simple.”
What shaped up to be the busiest weekend of the year so far, Bournemouth’s hospitality sector saw the biggest injection into its economy of the year so far.
James Dixon-Box, operations manager at Marsham Court Hotel said: “We were completely full.
“It was really really busy but all the guests seemed really happy and pleased to be out-and-about and able to come away.
“It’s been the busiest weekend we’ve had since we’ve re-opened and it was really nice to have a buzz about the building again and have people here.”
Hotels were not the only ones to reap the rewards of a dazzling bank holiday with pubs, bars and restaurants jam-packed all weekend.
Pat Rigbey, owner of the Goat and Tricycle, said: “There were loads of people out eating and drinking which was great.
Despite lockdown restrictions easing people remained vigilant and stuck to the rules, punters booked days in advance for tables at The Goat and Tricycle.
“People were booking in advance and not just locals, we had people faw and wide from Nottingham and Birmingham booking tables.
“We had four good days including the Friday and there are lots of positives being back.”
Expectations surrounding the bank holiday were high and they did not disappoint.
The council working closely with the police, fire and other authorities ensured the town was enjoyed safely and we avoided scenes similar to the major incident of last summer.
Councillor Mohan Iyengar, portfolio holder for tourism, leisure and culture said: “The weather has turned glorious and it’s been a great bank holiday weekend. Hotels have been full and restaurants busy with many other attractions reporting great visitor numbers.
“But importantly it’s been a weekend without the need to escalate our interventions to incident level.
“That is a credit to the officers across the council, police, fire and other authorities who have been working throughout to ensure everyone has a fun and safe time.
“This bodes well for the summer and we’ve a lot to be positive about.
“The Festival Coast Live kicks off in June with more than 200 events across our three towns, and the culmination of summer with the Air Festival in September.
Visitors were kept safe on the busiest weekend of the year so far.
“We’re truly cementing our position us as the best resort in the UK with beaches we’re proud of and hospitality second to none.
“But we won’t be complacent. We’ve increased resources to act quickly and deal firmly with people who are inconsiderate or behave unpleasantly.
“Our message is to respect, protect and enjoy our beautiful resort. People who do this are welcome and we wish you a wonderful stay.”