Burnham-On-Sea’s Mayor has this week criticised a “flawed” Which? Magazine survey that has named the town as one of the bottom ten seaside resorts in the UK.
Which? has ranked dozens of seaside towns around the country, with Burnham placed 88th out of 97 seaside towns, although it does rank better than nearby Weston, which is in 96th place.
Burnham has been given a 58% customer score in the poll after being rated three out of five stars for its beach, two out of five stars for its scenery, and three out of five stars for its ‘peace and quiet.’
However, while Which? has based its nationwide survey on feedback from over 4,000 people, the magazine admits that just 37 people have contributed feedback on Burnham.
Burnham and Highbridge Mayor Cllr Mike Facey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “This flawed and irresponsible survey represents the opinions of just 37 people! In 2019 Burnham town centre and seafront welcomed many thousands of visitors, many of whom choose to return year after year.”
“Burnham is a traditional ‘bucket and spade’ seaside town that has one of the longest family friendly sand beaches in Europe. It offers water sports, shops, eateries and amusements, extensive sand dunes and important wildlife habitats. We enjoy a welcoming and impressive events calendar and stunning coastal walks.”
“After one of the most challenging years on record, the Which? report promotes an inaccurate and potentially destructive image of our coastline at a time when coastal communities need all the support they can get. Shame on Which!”
Tom Ashton, Chairman of BIARS, the group that runs Burnham’s tourist information centre, adds: “It is disappointing that despite the efforts of many people who are connected to the tourism industry locally, plus tremendously hard-working accommodation providers, attraction owners, volunteers and local councillors, Burnham scores poorly in this survey.”
“The Town Council is working to improve Burnham for visitors and it has tourism as one of its priorities. BIARS has a close working relationship with the council and I’m confident that Burnham will improve.”
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Our survey of the UK’s favourite seaside destinations reflects the views of more than 4,000 people after a year when record numbers of people discovered the joy of a British summer holiday.”
“Different types of seaside destinations appeal to different people. While Burnham-On-Sea did not rank as highly as other resorts, some respondents recognised the town’s appeal – praising the beach and riverfront walks.”
He added: “To be included in the survey, UK seaside towns and villages must achieve a sample size of 30+, which we consider to be statistically significant. Burnham had a sample size of 37.”
Burnham has shown some improvement over the last two years — the town was ranked in 95th place in 2019, as reported here at the time.