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Last Updated: Monday, 4 October, 2004, 02:35 GMT 03:35 UK
Resorts must drop 'boozy image'
Resorts risk losing their family friendly image says Alan Woods
British seaside resorts risk becoming no-go areas for families if they do not crack down on drink-fuelled louts, a leading tourism chief is warning.

Alan Woods, chief executive of clean beach campaigners Blue Flag, was addressing the conference of beach managers in Blackpool on Monday.

Resorts can resemble "war zones rife with rubbish and soaked with sick and urine" in the morning, he said.

They should sell ciabatta, not chips, and spurn tacky gift shops, he added.

British resorts should swap the gift shops for continental markets and open art galleries at night as well as pubs and clubs, Mr Woods said.

Businesses making a mint out of extra opening hours should pay an extra levy to clean up the mess left on the streets
Alan Woods, chief executive Blue Flag

"Unlike the rest of Europe where even museums open late, Britain's night-time economy is based exclusively around alcohol and while the relaxation of licensing laws has been a big boost for some businesses, it has created massive problems, too," he said.

"Sadly we've reached a point where binge drinking is the norm rather than the exception.

"It is my belief that to even gain a licence, owners should make sure they've done all they can to crack down on excessive boozing and the violence that goes with it."

Mr Woods said this might include training door staff properly or offering "chill-out" zones.

Stag trade

He added: "Businesses who are making a mint out of extra opening hours, should also pay an extra levy to clean up the mess left on the streets by their customers."

Resorts like Blackpool have difficulty balancing their family friendly image with the lucrative hen and stag party trade.

Mr Woods added the British coast's success is not based on "booze and a taste for tack."

"Seaside towns in Cornwall are becoming famed for their arts and heritage; Brighton and Southport are celebrated for their shopping; the north east Coast is popular with surfers and we have a wealth of rural beaches where you can enjoy a quiet walk, whatever the time of year," he said.

"What's more, Britain's sands are cleaner and better managed than ever before."

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02 Aug 04  |  Education
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17 May 04  |  Lancashire
Switching from seedy to saucy
29 Aug 03  |  Lancashire

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