Fuel concerns cut Sidmouth holiday bookings
TWO incidents of guests cancelling stays in Sidmouth this week because of fuel shortages were confirmed by one of the town's hoteliers.
TWO incidents of guests cancelling stays in Sidmouth this week because of fuel shortages were confirmed by one of the town's hoteliers.Mark Seward, chairman of Sidmouth and District Hospitality Association, said he knew of two accommodation providers having cancellations because their guests had problems getting fuel for their journeys to the coast."People can't get the fuel to come down. I don't think I've seen Sidmouth as quiet for a long time," he said.He blamed the economic downturn as well as the tanker drivers' strike for the cancellations."Our cliff falls will not put people off coming here, the current economy and uncertainty will have a bigger effect on that."It is fair to say the town is not as busy as one would expect for a fine June week. It is not desperate but it is not as busy as we would want it to be."Members of the association have had cancellations because people couldn't get here because of fuel. When you consider there is no shortage, it is irritating. "I hope now it will settle down and it was just a blip this week."At Monday's meeting of Sidmouth Town Council's tourism committee, Ian Cole, manager of Sidmouth Information Centre, reported an increase in visitor numbers this March, April and May compared with last year's figures.He added: "Accommodation bookings at SIC during March and April continued the slow downward trend that we have seen over the last couple of years."More people were researching holiday destinations on the internet, even for short breaks, he said.Councillor Simon Pollentine, chairman of the tourism committee, runs shops in the town and said: "We hadn't noticed any difference ourselves over the weekend. "The good news is the strike is sorted. Some people may have been worried about supplies in the area."* Send your views on the credit crunch to the Herald at 106 High Street, Sidmouth, EX10 8EF, or email opinions to email@example.com