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Weston Mercury to keep tourism on track

The Weston & Somerset Mercury is lending a hand to ensure Weston-super-Mare’s declining tourist industry has blue skies ahead.

North Somerset Council has launched the Blue Skies initiative, aimed at putting new life into its tourist industry, and the Mercury is to monitor its progress.

The council has promised that five key proposals will be completed within 12 months, including setting up a partnership action team with key players from the local business community which will guide the whole programme, and implementing a new marketing strategy with different brochures for specific groups of visitors.

It also plans to attract new events to the resort and set up a litter helpline where people can report rubbish hot spots.

Council leader Cllr Mike Roe said: “We have good locations in Weston, such as Beach Lawns, and we have already had event organisers enquiring about coming to town next year. It is only right and proper that if the council makes promises we deliver then, so I am pleased the Mercury has decided to monitor the scheme.”

Judi Kisiel, managing editor of the Mercury, said: “The time has now come for action to make Weston-super-Mare a seaside destination renowned for its distinctiveness and quality. We believe this is an achievable goal, if we all play our part.

“For all its present shortcomings, 3m day visitors still come to Weston each year, and a 250,000 spend a holiday here. There is a big opportunity waiting to be exploited.

Blue Skies identifies general trends, demographic changes, and growth markets. It pinpoints aims, and suggests how they will be realised. It recognises that residents should be the beneficiaries as well as the visitors.

“More tourists may mean more litter and more congestion, for example, but Blue Skies will tackle these issues. It is in fact a blueprint for all of us but it can only be achieved if we pull together.

“The Weston Mercury accepts council leader Mike Roe’s challenge to all of us to show ‘real commitment’ in promoting Blue Skies.

“We will keep track of its progress because we believe it is the most significant attempt in recent times to ensure the future prosperity of this area. In the Weston Mercury, it will be a story that runs and runs.”

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