Skegness remains popular thanks to 'loyal customers'

About a million holidaymakers have made Skegness more visited than destinations such as York, Torquay and Bath.

According to a recent report by tourism body Visit England, it was the fourth most popular English holiday destination for UK residents in 2010.

Figures for Skegness increased by 26 per cent in 2009, which Visit England said was a good year for UK holidays.

While many destinations have slipped back down the table, Skegness has managed to stay in the top five.

The three holiday destinations above Skegness in the survey are London, Blackpool and Scarborough.

'Loyal customers'

Chairman of Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hoteliers Association, Nigel Tett, said it showed Skegness had "lots of loyal customers".

"Visitors say they like the flatness, everything is close and there's something new going on each week," he said.

"They visit year after year, and we're doing our best to look for new customers as well.

"The beaches are also lovely blue flag beaches, which is a big appeal.

"It's nice to hear from outside people that Skegness is still in the top half dozen resorts in the country."

Earlier this year, Lonely Planet described Skegness as "good family fun if you immerse yourself in the whole tacky spectacle", but warned that "culture vultures will probably run a mile".

Editor David Else has defended his guide's take on the resort, adding: "There is nothing wrong with Skeggy, but we tell it like it is."

Skegness's long association with tourism can be traced back to 1908, when the famous Jolly Fisherman poster was commissioned by the Great Northern Railway.

Designed to encourage rail travellers to visit the resort, it featured the slogan "Skegness is so bracing".

A statue of the fisherman has since been erected in the town.

Skegness was also the birthplace of Butlins, with the first holiday camp opening in 1936 on the site of a former turnip field.

East Lindsey District Councillor Craig Leyland said: "Skegness is immensely popular, you only need to visit the resort to see that.

"To be placed fourth most popular holiday destination in the UK is fantastic."

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