Lincolnshire sells itself as an idilic rural county with a charming, historic university city, sweeping coastlines and proud British food production – not to mention RAF lineage and resident Red Arrows (for now). But it must be missing a trick, because economy chiefs say it has not yet found the tools to tap into a tourism treasure trove worth £1 billion.
Around 20 million visitors to the country bring in around £600 million a year, according to Visit England. Popular attractions include Lincoln Castle and Cathedral, Skegness and other coastal holiday destinations.
The answer, argues executive member for economy and place at Lincolnshire County Council Colin Davie, is to broaden the coastal calendar, promoting seaside destinations’ ‘year round’ appeal.
“Ultimately, it is about people having year round employment and getting rid of the seasonality of the coast that causes so many problems both socially and economically,” he said. Councillor Davie believes a £1 billion target in 10 years’ time is possible.
The council this month launched a new marketing campaign to boost coastal tourism figures. The coastline has its own website www.lincsnaturalcoast.com, as well as promotional videos and brochures.
If you head down to Skegness today, a fresh but beautifully sunny February afternoon, you’ll find shuttered shops and abandoned promenades. Signs of life are rather limited to the odd dog walker and lonely chip butty.
It’s not just up to the county council to promote the county. Businesses must be willing to promote themselves too and to work with other organisations to bring the forgotten half of the events calendar to life.
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