Tourism leaders think this summer season could last even longer than usual - perhaps even into October, ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports
Words by ITV News Consumer Producer Hannah Kings
Sandcastles, fish and chips out of paper and ice creams on the beach - all hallmarks of a British seaside holiday.
Many UK holiday destinations have been hit hard by the pandemic - with tourist seasons disrupted by repeated lockdowns and continuing restrictions.
Visit Britain say income from British tourists holidaying in the UK fell by more than £57 billion in 2020 - a 63% loss compared to the previous year.
In Eastbourne, before the pandemic, 28% of jobs were in the tourism sector, and they’re hoping this bank holiday weekend will mark the start of a booming summer season.
With the weather improving and many people ready for a holiday, the town is optimistic it’ll be a much-needed boost.
After initial hesitation when restrictions eased earlier this month, bookings here are now picking up.
Local tourism leaders think this summer season could last even longer than usual - perhaps even into October.
They’ve bolstered infrastructure to allow for extra traffic, and Covid marshalls are making sure beaches and streets don’t become overcrowded.
All over the UK, coastal towns like Eastbourne are hoping they can recapture the imaginations of British tourists - and attract holidaymakers back to our seasides.