Brexit ‘a positive’ for Morecambe tourism

Brexit is a plus for Morecambe tourism, say experts. Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Brexit is a plus for Morecambe tourism, say experts. Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Brexit is a major plus for tourism in Morecambe, claim industry insiders.

Experts who spoke at an annual meeting of tourism businesses said Britain leaving the European Union will help attract visitors to the town.

They said Brexit is influencing UK residents to explore their own country instead of going abroad for holidays.

Foreign visitors are also coming to the UK more often because the falling value of the pound makes holidays cheaper.

“(Brexit) falls in our favour whether we like it or not,” said Lucy Arthurs from Leighton Hall in Carnforth,” speaking at the Bay Tourism AGM at the Midland Hotel.

“I used to see it as a negative but now I see it as a really positive thing.”

“It opens us up to a bigger inbound market,” said Paul Bury, manager of the Lothersdale Hotel and Aspect Bar and Bistro, during a panel Q&A at the event held last Tuesday.

“The drop in sterling makes us more attractive.”

But Mr Bury also warned that Brexit may lead to a shortage of skilled workers in the hospitality industry.

“Getting the skills, putting courses in place that the hospitality sector needs is a real challenge because of the huge reliance on European workers.

“It’s not as big a problem in Morecambe but certainly in the Lakes.”

Tom Powney from Briggs shoe shop said: “I think the reason we are seeing a drop in migrant workers coming to the UK is they are earning less because the pound is lower.”

The success of the Lake District was also seen as a major opportunity for Morecambe tourism.

“Since the Lake District gained UNESCO World Heritage Status, it’s pushed prices up there because there’s such a demand,” said Mark Prada, chairman of Bay Tourism.

“Morecambe is seen as a less expensive way of reaching the Lake District and for accommodation.”

Mr Prada also praised Morecambe FC and EDF Energy, owners of Heysham Power Stations, saying they boosted tourism by attracting football fans and outage workers into the town.

Cedric Robinson MBE, Queen’s Guide to the Sands of Morecambe Bay, was a guest at the meeting and gave a talk about his long career.