THE INCREASING number of major, international acts heading to perform at Scarborough Open Air Theatre is providing a tourism boom on the Yorkshire Coast, according to experts.
News that legendary band The Jacksons will be the latest act heading to the Yorkshire Coast this year has already had a knock-on effect on hotel and accommodation bookings in the area.
Originally formed as The Jackson 5 with Michael Jackson, they will be joining acts including Tom Jones, the Kaiser Chiefs, Little Mix, Jess Glynne, Olly Murs, Madness, Cliff Richard, The Beach Boys, George Benson, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe in adding the Scarborough venue to their national tour this year.
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Last year the venue attracted big names including Elton John, Status Quo, Olly Murs, Jessie J, Boyzone, Bryan Adams and McFly.
Already well in excess of 50,000 tickets have been sold for the acts due to visit Scarborough Open Air Theatre (OAT) in the North Bay.
Janet Deacon, an area director with Welcome to Yorkshire said it was contributing to the renaissance of the Yorkshire coast.
Last year the Alpamare waterpark opened and Flamingo Land owner Gordon Gibb is planning to invest £20m in developing the Futurist Theatre site, with plans to develop an aviary in landscaped gardens, a rooftop garden, family activities, rides and an education centre. In September Coventry University also opened a new £14m campus in the town.
Ms Deacon said: “The larger acts like Cliff Richard and Tom Jones attract people from a global audience – they attract visitors from all over the UK and overseas.
“We’ve had two accommodation providers that have actually contacted me to say they can tell when a new act has been announced at Scarborough Open Air Theatre because their phones never stop ringing. We know it’s bringing people in and having a huge impact on the local economy. People are staying the weekend here and spending money in the restaurants and hotels.
“Once they’ve been to the area it results in repeat visitors because people fall in love with the beauty of the Yorkshire Coast. It’s raising the profile of Scarborough as a destination. It’s now firmly on the calendar for tours.”
She said it was also attracting a new type of tourist to the seaside town, who are also exploring further afield, visiting or staying on the North York Moors or the coasts’ other towns and villages. It was bringing with it an increase in good quality restaurants and food providers along the coast.
“The audience are people who wouldn’t normally come to Scarborough for a visit,” she said.
“Once they’ve come here and seen how great and beautiful it is, it does have results.
"And the mix of acts means it’s a whole range of different ages. There’s a real buzz about the coast at the moment – they don’t just stay in Scarborough, they also stay or visit the North York Moors or other coastal areas.
“We’re seeing a huge uplift in term of the quality of restaurants and food provision on the Yorkshire Coast. All of these things are having a real impact on tourism.”
Peter Taylor, director of the promoters Cuffe & Taylor, says they have increased the number of acts they are bringing to Scarborough this year from 11 to 18. He said for the bands that are touring nationally with them, the town provides a nice stop-off.
He said: “We took over the running of the theatre last year because the year before we had taken Tom Jones there - we were doing a tour with him at the time. We took him there and thought this is an amazing, great venue and wondered if we could do more and sat down with the council to discuss it.”