CLACTON could be set for a bumper summer after it was revealed the resort has seen the biggest increase in Google searches for staycation holidays in the UK.

The resort saw a massive 175 per cent increase in people hunting for hotels in April and May – and the trend looks set to continue with travel restrictions to many continues still in place due to the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions.

After a difficult year for the Clacton’s hospitality industry due to the lockdown, many seaside traders will be hoping to capitalise on attraction staycationers – and hope they will return year after year.

Jason Smedley, owner of Clacton’s Royal Hotel, said there has been a massive increase in interest from customers.

“As a hotel, we could have sold three times over every day during the half-term holidays - and since then we’ve been at 80 or 90 per cent capacity,” he said.

“It is such a relief because at one point we though we might not make it through the pandemic.

“But it looks like it is going to be a great summer for the town and we have booking through until September.

“It’s not just great for us, but for Clacton as a whole.”

Alex Porter, Tendring Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, welcomed the increase in people looking at UK holidays.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

“The Essex Sunshine Coast has always been, and remains, a popular choice for Brits looking to holiday closer to home, and we are confident that will be further boosted by people who eschew a foreign trip as foreign travel restrictions continue due to Covid-19,” he said.

“This presents exciting opportunities for Tendring around tourism; what we must do, working together as a district, is to remind people how great Tendring is.

“What we want is for people to visit this year, and while they are here show them why they should come back year after year.

“That is why tourism, and our programme of Celebrate Tendring events for 2021 – from the Clacton 150 Flypast with the Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, to Octopus Ahoy, and our Clacton 150 and Mayflower 400 heritage trails - is such an important part of our Back to Business programme; and why we will do what we can to support our leisure and hospitality industry.”

Clacton was found to be the most searched for spot for staycations as part of an analysis carried out by e-commerce and travel retail specialist Salesfire.

It tracked the surge in interest in seaside towns due to travel restrictions putting a dampener on many people’s plans to travel broad this year.

The Essex resort was followed by Colwyn Bay in Wales, Herne Bay in Kent and Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire, which all saw a 140 per cent increase in interest.