Tourism should not be Weston-super-Mare's top priority - council

PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 April 2015 | UPDATED: 11:23 29 April 2015

Weston's seafront.

Weston's seafront.

Archant

TOURISM 'should not be' Weston's top priority when it comes to the future of the resort, according to one of North Somerset Council's top officers.

Views from the roof of the Winter Gardens, Weston.Views from the roof of the Winter Gardens, Weston.

Although the industry ‘has a fundamental role to play’ in transforming the town, ‘living, learning and lifestyle’ are said to be the main elements which will pave the way for Weston’s regeneration.

David Turner, the council’s development and environment director, said on a list of priorities, although a tourist information centre ‘would be a nice thing to have’ it is not the top of the list.

The comments were made at a meeting of Weston Civic Society.

Mr Turner was discussing the council’s Prospectus For Change document, which lays out the authority’s vision for the future of Weston.

He said: “I don’t agree tourism should be the top priority. Tourism, and new tourism, has a new role to play in the future of the town.

“I think historic tourism, which was about longer stays in properties that haven’t been invested in, isn’t the future.

“It’s day visitors and such people who want to stay longer

“But we all go on Trip Advisor, do our homework and don’t need a tourist information centre. It is a nice thing to have but in a list of things to have, not a priority.

“The priority is about three issues: of living, learning and lifestyle in the central area of Weston but made up of so many different elements.

“Clearly tourism has a fundamental role to play but I think the town is more than just tourism destination.”

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