Can travel do good? Can it promote positive values? Can more Londoners visiting a reinvigorated Margate benefit everyone? We think we have a plan. And you’re part of it.
As retail chains knock on the independent door of the Old Town and relatively cheap flats are snaffled up by Londoners, will Margate be able to hang on to its charm? Can we be part of a solution?
Today’s Guardian Society article asks whether regeneration of British seaside resorts can help the existing population – is the new-found prosperity going to be shared out?
All these questions had to be considered when Half Day Holidays was founded and the decision was made to be a social enterprise. And from the off, spending London money in Margate was the plan. Fish & chips from the great fish shop and beers at the friendly ale pubs run by local characters were factored in from the start, to ensure money was spent in situ.
As many positive outcomes as possible are the goal: a fun and/or productive day out for individuals and businesses is crucial. But filling seats on quieter off-peak trains means minimal extra carbon, the elephant in the room for the travel industry.
Coming down midweek initially means London gets a friendly intimate experience and Margate gets off-peak trade. Everyone should win. Relaxed Londoners go back home a little happier, Margate tills ring a little louder and longer.
But there are two more levels to this which are still to be realised. One is bringing down disadvantaged London groups who wouldn’t otherwise get a day out at the seaside. There are carers, kids and pensioners who could massively benefit from a day by the sea.
From those seeking respite, to the companies and freelancers who come for inspiration, a few hours by the beach can work wonders.
The second is a programme that plans to train up some locals to deliver experiences for these visitors. We’ve already been engaged in social enterprise training for a new London venture launching shortly so we have the vision and the know-how.
What we don’t have yet, is big numbers of bums on seats. So if you want to help, it’s really easy. Just hire us for your company day out or on-train workshop, or bring your friends on one of our day trips. Or collaborate with us, like Margate Pride and the Margate Bookie literary festival did.
Help us spread the word. Because just by coming down and having fun, you’ll be stimulating the local economy and subsidising similar experiences for others.
We have a vision. Your seaside fun can realise it. We hope to see you soon?
You can book here, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org