SCARBOROUGH is putting itself on the map with a number of new festivals and events to attract visitors to the area it has been claimed.
This weekend there will be the Scarborough Surf Festival in the North Bay as well as a smaller gathering of Morris Dancers at various locations around the town.
Organisers were hoping that the recent heatwave would continue throughout the weekend and help draw thousands of visitors to the area.
Steve Parrott, the organiser of the North Bay event, said the forecast was good. He added: “It’s guaranteed – it’s here to stay until Monday. We will get 1,000s of people in the North Bay to watch skateboard, BMX, mountain bike and surf events.”
James Corrigan, a local businessman and investor, said that variety of recent special events in the area had helped fuel the increase in visitor numbers. He said: “It’s been a really good back end of the season. A lot of this is free for people.”
Mr Corrigan said that Scarborough Council was also helping by making it easier for people to organise events. He said: “I’ve been down here for 24 years and in the last five years or so they’ve got a real can do attitude.”
He said that, as a result of the current economic climate, people were opting to stay in the UK for holidays and that was to Scarborough’s advantage. He said: “It’s prolonging the season – a large proportion of businesses in the South Bay now trade 52 weeks a year.”
Brian Bennett, the council’s head of tourism, said it was good to have the festivals, particularly towards the beginning or end of the traditional holiday season. He added: “They extend the season that little bit longer. We have people that come to Scarborough for the first time and think what a fantastic place – hopefully they’ll come back time and time again.”
David Frank, the admin director at the Crown Spa Hotel in Esplanade, agreed that unusual events helped to put Scarborough on the map. He added: “They bring people that are interested. Festivals are important particularly with the economy being in a state.”