Weather brings tourism boost

Soaring temperatures in recent days have brought a welcome boost to trade across Scarborough as visitors flocked to the resort to enjoy the sunshine.

Shops, restaurants, cafes and bars have all benefited from the unseasonably hot weather earlier this week - kick-starting the season following the coldest May in 100 years.

Hundreds of people were finally able to ditch their winter woollies and head to the beach, which was packed with thousands of sun-worshippers, before heading into town to browse the shops.

It was good news for the town’s traders who have suffered as a result of the cold spring.

Janet Jefferson, president of the Scarborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “There has been a significant increase in the number of people here and businesses have been staying open later. The finer weather has seen our beaches full and we have got the added advantage of being a tourist destination which I do feel helps the economy of the whole town.

“In the present economic climate, the good weather has given us a good boost of trade through all sectors and I hope it continues over the bank holiday.”

The tourism industry in the Scarborough district alone brings in 7.5 million visitors every year, and provides an annual boost of £290 million to the local economy.

David Jeffels, chairman of tourism group British Destinations and Scarborough Borough Council’s former portfolio holder for tourism, also welcomed the boom following the slow start to the season.

He said: “The season has not had a good start as a result of the weather. Everyone knew it was going to be difficult because of the economy and the high cost of fuel but the spate of bad weather really did have a detrimental impact.

“But the weather that we had over the weekend has been significantly better and it must have put a lot of smiles on the face of local business people and we are hoping it continues.

“What we want is people to take advantage of this weather and to choose to holiday Scarborough because they are certainly going to get very good value for money. We have got so much going for us and the sunshine is the icing on the cake.”

And while it is set to be a cooler Jubilee Weekend, forecasters are predicting the weather will remain dry enough to enjoy the celebrations.

Met Office spokesman Charles Powell said: “So far as we head into this weekend it looks as if there is going to be some dry and fine weather. There maybe a couple of showers out towards the North Sea and a few may blow into coastal areas. There’s a chance of seeing a few showers but there is a good deal of dry weather and even some sunshine.

“Temperature wise Scarborough will probably see mid-teens. There’s a bit of a breeze coming off the North Sea so it maybe just a little bit fresher on the coast.”