Will recession boost coastal tourism?

FELIXSTOWE is hoping a sunbathed Easter will herald a brighter summer for the resort, despite the economic gloom.

FELIXSTOWE is hoping a sunbathed Easter will herald a brighter summer for the resort, despite the economic gloom.

As the young and the old enjoy the warm weather, the town believes it could prosper if the storm clouds stay away over the coming months.

Sunshine, and the prospect of more people holidaying at home this year, are giving hope Felixstowe's economy will reap the benefits.

Amusement arcade owner Charles Manning said: “We are optimistic, if the weather's good. That's one of the main factors.

“The beach in front of the pier and down towards Landguard has re-opened after new breakwaters were put in, the council is opening the car parks free for Sunday parking and we keep hearing people are not going abroad so much this year.

“We are hopeful. Things seem to be going in our favour a bit at the moment.”

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Mayor of Felixstowe Mike Deacon is also hoping better weather will bring a windfall for the town.

He said: “We are hopeful for a prosperous summer. Hopefully the weather will be ok.

“It seems more people will probably be spending their holidays in the UK and hopefully those that do will be spending their summer in Felixstowe.”

Owners of guesthouses and hotels are cautiously optimistic, although they are aware of the importance, and uncertainty, the weather has on a successful season.

Margaret Dugdall, of Castle Lodge private hotel in Chevalier Road said: “It's probably largely down to the weather.

“We have been here 21 years and I would say bookings are certainly coming in, but we have not seen an increase.

“Our regulars tend to come whatever the weather, but additional people look at the forecast and make their decisions at the last minute.”

Geoff Harvey, proprietor of Grafton Guest House in Sea Road, said: “We are looking forward to the season, but we don't know what it's going to bring.

“My feeling is providing we do as we always do, which is to provide a good standard of accommodation for a reasonable price, I don't see any problems.”

Will you be holidaying in the UK this summer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

THE first few days of Easter have been the warmest of the year so far, with temperatures topping those of many usually sun-soaked continental hotspots.

However, while Suffolk basked in the sunshine, it wasn't the same outlook across the region.

Only an hour away in Cambridge, rain poured down throughout the weekend, creating a gloomy feel in the historic city.

Evening Star weatherman Ken Blowers believes it will remain reasonably warm for the remainder of this week in Suffolk.

He said: “Good Friday and Saturday saw temperatures up to 64F (18C).

“Both days were sunny and were much warmer than Barcelona, which was 57F (14C), Madrid 52F (11C), and even Majorca 61F (16C).

“It will continue to be warm, but may well be more cloudy than we have had of late. The temperatures will keep up to at least 58F (14C) over the next few days, although as we go into next week there may be some rain.”