A new tourism survey ranking the UK’s best seaside towns has placed Burnham-On-Sea at number 95 of 97 resorts around the country.
The survey from the consumer magazine Which? says Burnham’s seafront, attractions and value-for-money earn a score of ‘one star out of five’.
Burnham scores two stars for its beach, eating places and scenery, while it scores three stars for accommodation and peace of quiet.
The disappointing verdict comes after thousands of holidaymakers rated their most recent visits to seaside resorts across the UK. Only Clacton and Bognor Regis score lower.
Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, said: “These ratings won’t make happy reading for some of those destinations that many of us remember from childhood breaks of times gone by, which may have failed to keep pace with trendier destinations or those offering a better overall experience for our hard-earned cash.”
“But whether you fancy blowing out the cobwebs in Bamburgh, pottering around in Portmeirion or taking your bucket and spade to St Mawes, it’s clear that the Great British seaside has something for everyone.”
Reacting to the news, Tom Ashton, who is Chairman of BIARS, which runs Burnham’s tourist information centre, and a director at Visit Somerset, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It is disappointing that despite the efforts of many people who are connected to the tourism industry locally, plus tremendously hardworking accommodation providers, attraction owners, volunteers and local councillors that Burnham did badly in this survey. It is a wake-up call and we must all make even greater efforts.”
“I sincerely hope that the money provided by the Burnham Evolution project has a positive effect which results in the town rapidly rising in future surveys and truly reflects the amazing town that I believe Burnham is capable of being.”
Critics of the survey say that the total number of participants in the survey — which is just around 3,000 — is far too small to accurately calculate the average view of visitors to seaside towns across the whole UK.
A Burnham Chamber of Trade spokesperson added: “We are disappointed by the results of this survey. The Chamber continues to promote Burnham’s many positives and we have just unveiled the new edition of the Burnham Shoppers Guide, with 40,000 copies being distributed across the south west. In it, we outline Burnham’s wide range of virtues, including its wonderful beach and seafront walks, plus its shops, businesses and eating places. The Chamber also has a successful project underway to attract coach visitors into Burnham, who appreciate what the town has to offer. The Chamber also continues to work closely with local councils and stakeholders to encourage and deliver improvements to the town centre and tourism facilities.“