Will moving May Day boost the tourism trade?

South Bay bathed in sunshine 110908
South Bay bathed in sunshine 110908

SCARBOROUGH’S tourism industry has voiced its support for plans to move the May Day bank holiday.

The Government has announced plans to move the annual bank holiday either back to October as Trafalgar Day, or forward to become St George’s Day in England or St David’s Day in Wales.

Ministers believe the move would help to lengthen the tourism season.

The proposals have been backed by industry officials from Scarborough’s tourism scene, who feel the move would help spread the bank holidays out over the course of the year.

Graham North, chairman of Scarborough’s Forum for Tourism, said; “I think it would be a good idea, however an additional bank holiday would be even better.

“At the moment holidays are all clumped together around April and May, especially when you add school holidays as well.

“I would favour the May Day holiday being moved to October as it would encourage people to stay longer and will help to extend the season in Scarborough.”

Cllr Janet Jefferson, portfolio holder for Tourism at Scarborough Council, said; “Many of the bank holidays are very close together, especially this year when we have a late Easter.

“It would be much better to spread them over the year more, and give people an extra break between the August bank holiday and Christmas.

“I think it would be especially useful from a tourism point of view to move it to October and tie it in with the school half term holiday as it would encourage more families to go away together for a couple of days, which would be good news for Scarborough.”

Scarborough Hospitality Association President Stephen Woodhouse, who owns Lingholm Holiday Cottages in Lebberston, also agrees the bank holiday should be moved, however he favours bringing it forward for St George’s Day.

Mr Woodhouse said; “It would be beneficial to move the bank holiday and help spread the season.

“I think it would be better to move it to April as after a long winter people are usually ready for a holiday. It will help to kick start the season.”

The Government had also previously indicated plans to change the clocks to extend the lighter summers evenings, which had also been part of a bid to boost tourism.

However the idea now been dropped amid concerns about road safety and children travelling to school in Scotland, where mornings would be considerably darker in the winter in the move went ahead.