For some time, coastal towns have been in decline, thanks to the rise of cheap package holidays overseas and the strong pound. However, the recent economic crisis has seen more and more Britons choosing to holiday at home. Earlier this year, Travelodge named Eastbourne as a staycation hotspot.
Coastal towns depend on tourism to survive. Currently, Eastbourne is gearing up for the 19th annualAirbourne airshow. Events such as this give coastal towns a much-needed cash injection as well as a lot of media attention.
Last year Airbourne attracted £400k worth of positive media coverage, reaching 22 million people. This year already, it has featured in Prima and Real People magazine, Southern Rail Magazine, The Times, The Telegraph, The Independent as well as the local press and BBC Sussex. No doubt there will be post event coverage next week too.
Each year, the airshow brings over £27million to the town. Three quarters of those who attend Airbourne are visitors, with 71% saying it’s the reason they come to Eastbourne.
A few years ago, Eastbourne Borough Council made the unpopular decision to charge a £5 entry fee to try to cover the cost of running the airshow. In 2009, it reverted to not charging, but last year Airbourne was run at a loss of £50,000 for the local authority.
However, the event raises the profile of Eastbourne and reminds people that the town is still alive and kicking. Any event such as Airbourne creates a buzz within the town. It is something that we can all look forward to, talk about and gives us a break from the glum economic recession. It also gives families and friends a reason to go out and have fun. And you can’t put a price on that.