Tourism cottages keeping coast alive as old industries die

From: Susan Goss-Clements, founding partner of Yorkshire Coastal Cottages, Whitby.

THE article from GP Taylor (The Yorkshire Post, November 26), where he takes issue with people having second holiday homes on the coast, does not take into consideration the changes in the economy and the job market.

The fact is that major industries – such as fishing – that once supported whole communities are no longer there. But what is there is a buoyant tourism industry that keeps local businesses thriving and local people in jobs.

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We look after over 100 properties on Yorkshire’s glorious coast, from Staithes in the north down to Bridlington in the south, taking in Sandsend, Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay, Scarborough and Filey; we specialise in luxury cottages – for which there is a huge demand – and attract thousands of visitors from all over the UK and overseas to this beautiful part of Yorkshire, all of whom input significantly to the local economy.

There is still a strong sense of community in all these villages and towns and plenty of work – from tradesmen and cleaners who help maintain the cottages to the shops, bars, cafés, pubs, restaurants, attractions and all the supporting industries that enjoy looking after tourists. GP Taylor calls villages “an empty shell”. Hardly. Every week, every month, they are vibrant.

Some 20 years ago somewhere like Whitby used to close down from October to March, but now it is a year-round destination with many superb and well-attended events, from the Goth Festivals and the regatta to the Wartime Weekend and the Christmas markets.

All year round people flock to see our coastal scenery, enjoy the many attractions, dine at award-winning restaurants and play on the clean, golden beaches.

Holiday homes are helping build a vibrant community to the benefit of the local people.

From: Hugh Rogers, Ashby, Scunthorpe.

THE tourism industry enjoys a lot of VAT zero-rating (and reduced rating) already – including passenger transport, brochures and so forth, and now they want a VAT cut for catering and entrance tickets (The Yorkshire Post, November 24).

The company behind the London Dungeon and Madame Tussauds has campaigned for it for years, so it’s not new.

As for catering, a reduction for tourists would be an administrative nightmare. Who is more important, a tourist or a businessman? How do you distinguish one from the other?