August 21, 2015
Banksy's Dismaland exhibition could boost tourism in Burnham area

A Banksy theme park being held in Weston-super-Mare over the next five weeks could attract extra visitors into the Burnham-On-Sea area, according to tourism bosses.

The Dismaland show - which also features art works from Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer and Jimmy Cauty - will take over the Tropicana site on Weston seafront.

Banksy has described the show as a 'family theme park unsuitable for children'.

Ian Jefferies, who runs Burnham's tourist information centre, told there has already been lots of interest in the exhibition.

"Masses of people will be coming to see this exhibition over the next few weeks, which is a great promotion of our area," he said. "Burnham could well benefit - Weston's accommodation may be full and Burnham could pick up extra visitor bookings as a result, along with nearby attractions and businesses."

"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, so there's a chance we could see something similar."

Bev Milner Simonds, Burnham's Town Centre Manager, added: "The British seaside has a long tradition of curios and side-show shockers. Siting what is undoubtedly a visually challenging exhibition right on the promenade of a seaside town will continue to feed the debate of "what is entertainment?", "Who is the seaside for?" and "what will people travel hundreds of miles to see?" so I applaud North Somerset Council on this coup - certainly the most innovative way to prolong the summer season into September happening in England this year."

A Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade spokesman added: "It's great to see this unique, attention-grabbing exhibition coming to Somerset. We hope that some of the extra visitors will come into the Burnham area at the same as the exhibition, providing a late season boost."

Visit Somerset's John Turner added: "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 by another six weeks, and we predict the Banksy effect could bring an estimated £7million to the local economy over the next six months."


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