‘Banksy effect’ set to boost Weston economy

PUBLISHED: 15:29 20 August 2015 | UPDATED: 15:29 20 August 2015

Banksy exhibition press call.

Banksy exhibition press call.

Archant

THE Banksy exhibition could bring £7million to Weston-super-Mare’s economy according to a tourism expert.

Visit Somerset says the ‘Banksy effect’ will outlast the exhibition and will see millions of pounds flooding into the town over the next six months.

CEO of Visit Somerset John Turner said the effect of the pop-up show, called Dismaland, has been immediate, with the Weston Hotels and Restaurants Association already reporting an increase in trade.

Mr Turner said: “Since the first rumours surfaced of Banksy’s presence in the town, local accommodation providers have reported an increase in bookings by over 20 per cent.

“The launch of the exhibition comes at a time when the peak holiday season is coming to an end in the town, so this will prolong the season in Weston by another six weeks, and we predict the Banksy effect could bring an estimated £7million to the local economy over the next six months.”

When Banksy’s Bristol exhibition opened in 2009 it brought an extra £10million to the local economy, with 55,000 extra hotel rooms occupied by Banksy fans staying in the city.

Mr Turner added: “Weston is an iconic and much-loved seaside town, famous for its end-of-the-Pier humour and offers the quintessential British holiday experience of donkey rides, deckchairs and sticks of rock.

“The infamous association with Banksy will forever bring a new generation of visitors to the town looking for a chic, quirky and funky experience.

“This could be the biggest thing to happen to Weston since The Beatles came to town in 1963.”

To get hold of a ticket for the show tomorrow (Friday), pick up a copy of the paper today (Thursday) to find out how.

Want to take a look inside Dismaland? Click here.


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