Tourism bosses back May Day move

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TOURISM bosses in Whitby have voiced their support for plans to move the May Day bank holiday.

The Government has announced plans to move the annual bank holiday either back to October as Trafalgar Day, or forward to become St George’s Day in England or St David’s Day in Wales.

Ministers believe the move would help to lengthen the tourism season.

The proposals have been backed by industry officials who feel the move would help spread the bank holidays out over the course of the year.

Councillor Janet Jefferson, portfolio holder for Tourism at Scarborough Borough Council, said; “Many of the bank holidays are very close together, especially this year when we have a late Easter.

“It would be much better to spread them over the year more, and give people an extra break between the August bank holiday and Christmas. “I think it would be especially useful from a tourism point of view to move it to October and tie it in with the school half term holiday as it would encourage more families to go away together for a couple of days, which would be good news for the borough.”

Harry Collett, chairman of Whitby and District Tourism Association also welcomed the plans. He said: “It will extend the season. It could mean the goths might come for a full week. I think it would be a good thing.

“It also gives a little bit of a break before the winter. The May Day bank holiday does nothing. It’s not long enough to go away. Most people go back on the Bank Holiday Monday.

“I think if you have it in October you can capitalise on it a bit more.”

The Government had also previously indicated plans to change the clocks to extend the lighter summers evenings, which had also been part of a bid to boost tourism. However the idea now been dropped amid concerns about road safety and children travelling to school in Scotland, where mornings would be considerably darker in the winter in the move went ahead.