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BE DISTINCTIVE OR DIE, SEASIDE TOWNS WARNED

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Seaside towns are to be told tomorrow [Tuesday] they face oblivion unless they adopt distinctive themes to recaptur...
Seaside towns are to be told tomorrow [Tuesday] they face oblivion unless they adopt distinctive themes to recapture lost visitors, reported The Observer (Business, p1). The warning will come from Britain's 'tourism tsar' Peter Moore when he unveils recommendations aimed at saving Britain's crisis-hit coastal resorts.
Ministers are concerned that lack of investment and a preference for overseas holidays have led in some areas to social and economic deprivation similar to that seen in former mining communities.
Mr Moore's resort taskforce report is expected to call for towns to go back to their 'spa roots' and cater for people eager for pampering and health-affirming experiences. Other recommendations could include 'Resort Champions' - celebrities or business leaders - to act as a focal point for towns' bids to attract funding. The
report, to be launched in Bournemouth, will argue for cash-strapped local authorities to be empowered to refurbish promenades and piers. There will also be a call to improve links to towns at the end of road and rail networks.
The report will show how Padstow in Cornwall blossomed into a 'gourmet centre' thanks to restaurants and a delicatessen opened by celebrity chef Rick Stein. Also in Cornwall, Newquay is considered Britain's surf city.
And Mr Moore is supporting plans for 24-hour resort casinos in Blackpool.
'Towns which carve out a distinctive brand will receive government and European funding,' said a source close to the taskforce. 'Many of these places last received serious investment in the nineteenth century. They will have to have vision now or they will die.'
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