The quintessential British resort holiday could soon become a distant memory as traditional seaside entertainments are no longer cutting it with modern holiday makers, according to a recent survey commissioned by Teletext Holidays.
However, a new government funding initiative could provide a much needed boost for England's seaside resorts.
The survey of 2,500 Britons compared the most popular British holiday locations and activities of two generations – the over 60s and the under 30s. The results reveal that holidaymakers are flocking to trendy resorts, luxurious hotels and isolated country retreats, while 60% of younger respondents felt visiting traditional beach resorts had become distinctly unfashionable.
Punch and Judy shows and donkey rides are rapidly falling out of favour – just 2% of younger respondents say the former was a feature of recent holidays and only 3% are likely to take a donkey ride.
Swimming in the sea was popular with just 6% of the under 30s. Other seaside favourites fast becoming history include playing bingo (3%), sending novelty postcards (2%) and strolling along the pier (1%).
However, some activities such as water sports (18%), visiting fairground rides (17%) and caravanning (16%) remain popular.
Over a third of the over 60s (35%) prefer more traditional resorts, identifying Blackpool, Torquay and St Ives as their favourites. While 25% of under 30s would choose a city break – Edinburgh, Brighton and Bournemouth registered most votes.
However, the recent announcement by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport of the government's Sea Change funding initiative provides some encouraging news for the future of England's seaside resorts.
The three-year programme will give £45m to coastal resorts and will be led by the Commission for Architecture and the Build Environment (CABE).
Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham said, 'Our seaside resorts are much loved and an integral part of English culture, but some are looking a bit faded and no longer attract as many visitors as they did.
'Many hold hidden treasures and this money provides a much needed boost to the resorts. This year Blackpool, Torbay and Dover and a dozen other towns will benefit. By the end of the programme in 2011 the regeneration of many of our coastal resorts will be firmly underway.'
You can find full details of the government's Sea Change funding initiative on the CABE website at www.cabe.org.uk.
For further information on Teletext, visit their website www.teletext.co.uk.