SOUTHEND is in the Top Ten of the most popular seaside resorts in the country according to a travel website.
The list was compiled by Gopili.co.uk based on the number of search inquiries made by Brits planning to travel to UK seaside resorts between last 22 July and 31 August. Southend welcomed 6.5m visitors last year.
Among Britain’s top ten seaside resorts, eight of them were on the south coast, with Brighton taking top spot. Southend was ninth on the list.
Rodolphe Morfoise-Gauthier, Country Manager UK of Gopili, said that Southend had always been a popular destination for tourists and that growing investment was making the town a more popular spot to visit.
He added: “The recent investments to develop the waterfront and the fact that it is easily reachable by all modes of transport – train, coach, ride share and plane – helps to develop tourism.
“Famous seaside towns of Brighton and Blackpool remain on top but Southend is among those resorts which are quickly convincing a growing number of tourists to visit.”
Southend councillor Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy, added: “We all know what a fantastic place Southend-on-Sea is, and it is great to see more and more people recognising that and holidaying with us.
“Southend has always been a popular destination for day trippers but thanks to regeneration projects such as City Beach that have encouraged further private investment along our golden mile and beyond, people are choosing to stay here for longer to see more of what we have to offer.”
And she added: “We can only see this increasing more every year as the airport grows and more people use Southend as a base to explore our great capital city. This is a market we are actively exploring with targeted campaigns to countries like Holland for example.
“There is so much to see and do across the borough and our super hospitality, leisure and hotel sector have really upped their game to provide the facilities that have helped to produce this surge in interest.”
Holidaymakers give their verdict
Yolande Drake, 72, South Benfleet: “The important thing is having sand because many beaches are just pebbles. It’s great Southend has been recognised.”
Suzanne Hall, 30, Jim Taylor, 41, Glasgow: “We are a bit spoilt in Scotland in terms of beautiful beaches. But Southend is nice but difficult to take the dog on the beach.”
Roy Benjafield, 52, Thurrock: “It’s great here. My two daughters and I have been on the seafront all day. We walked to the end of the pier. The view was lovely.”