Has tourism bounced back? The view from Felixstowe, Bury, Aldeburgh and Clacton

Eliza and Arran having fun in the sea. Aldeburgh hot weather at the beach Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Eliza and Arran having fun in the sea in near-26C temperatures - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Tourism chiefs say the industry has started to recover well from the pandemic this summer - but what's the view from individual resorts?

Felixstowe

Stan Harris, who runs the Ocean Boulevard Fun Park on Felixstowe prom, said it had been a good summer - and better than last year.

People enjoying the sunshine at Felixstowe sea front. Picture: Danielle Booden

People enjoying the sunshine at Felixstowe sea front. - Credit: Danielle Booden

He said: "We have had a lot more people here than last year. The weather has not been perfect and for us it's always a bit of a Catch 22 - if the weather is not so good, the rides are busy, and if the sun shines and it's hot, then then the drinks and ice creams do well.

"We have invested a lot in new rides and attractions and it's paying off.  


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"I am sure people will go abroad again once they are able, but Felixstowe has enough attractions to keep people coming."

Bury St Edmunds

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Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds BID, said: "It's been very positive since we reopened. I think there was a desire for people to get out.

Molly Smith with Suffolk's very own new sangria brand, Solsuena, at the Bury St Edmunds Food and Dri

Molly Smith with Suffolk's very own new sangria brand, Solsuena, at the Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"Abbey Gardens and Angel Hill have undoubtedly benefitted from people looking to get some fresh air.

"The businesses have been very responsible in looking after their customers - that approach has worked well. We also had a number of new businesses open up when we reopened after lockdown.

"The fact that foreign travel has been restricted has been an upside for the town. We're already planning ahead for what Christmas will look like, but next year might be a challenge to ensure Bury is at the top of its game."

Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh has been "buzzing" this summer - with the town's holiday accommodation fully booked and day-trippers packing the seaside town.

On the. first day of lockdown restrictions easing, people headed to Aldeburgh to enjoy a day out or

It's been a busy summer in Aldeburgh - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Chairman of Aldeburgh Museum Board, Tony Bone said the museum - relaunched after the completion of a £750,000 refurbishment in 2019 - has had a good season.

He said: "We expected it to be good, but it has been better than expected. The town has been very busy."

Jacqui Thompson, who runs the Wag & Bone in High Street, said: "The town has been buzzing. It's been absolutely amazing, and we have a constant stream of customers. We are very hopeful for the future."

Clacton

Clacton has been having a fantastic summer - with its 150th anniversary celebrations, weekend firework displays and new big wheels on the pier bringing in tens of thousands of visitors. 

A new observation wheel has arrived on Clacton Pier ready for the summer

The new observation wheel at Clacton - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Amy Forde, manager of Charnallies Restaurant and Bar, an American-themed venue in Pier Avenue, said it had been "a very good summer" so far. 

She said: "People just seem to want to make the most of this summer after all they have been through - it hasn't mattered what the weather has been like. I think it's been busier than last year. Obviously, people have not been able to go abroad and so they have been exploring what's on their doorsteps and it's been brilliant for the town." 

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