As the UK’s beach resorts gear up for the main summer holidays, Skegness, a traditional seaside town on the Lincolnshire coast, has been accused of using dirty tricks to lure visitors away from its rivals.
The Daily Mail has reported that Skegness has released a series of adverts headed, ‘For sights you’ll want to remember, visit Skegness,’ and showing photographs of walls covered in graffiti that were taken at some of the towns rival UK resorts, Brighton and Blackpool. In a predictable response, the two towns that were targeted have criticised what they see as underhand tactics.
In their defence, the local council has described the adverts as nothing more than friendly rivalry, with James Gilbert, of East Lindsey Council, the body responsible for the posters, telling the Daily Mail, ‘We’re not trying to upset anyone, it’s a bit of friendly rivalry. We want to challenge people’s perceptions and showcase the amazing art, culture, dance, theatre and music that is staged in the town. Obviously, Brighton and Blackpool attract more visitors than Skegness and we are not seeking to insult anyone who lives there or visits there. We are not trying to upset anyone, it’s a bit of friendly rivalry.’
Each year, eight million holidaymakers visit Brighton, while Skegness receives half that number, at around four million. Blackpool comfortably outstrips them both, registering around thirteen million visitors per year.
In the report, Mary Mears, Brighton’s former city council leader, retorted, ‘There’s a big difference, people who visit Skegness maybe would not want to go again, whereas we get lots of repeat customers in Brighton.’