Bound Volume Number
Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Prof. Seth Gitner
Prof. A. Randall Wenner
Broadcast and Digital Journalism
Great Yarmouth, tourism
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Other Arts and Humanities
One of the hardest things for some people to accept is change, especially when it involves part of their national identity. For years, people in Great Britain have thrived off of tourism in seaside towns and have considered it a source of pride. But the high-end Bed and Breakfasts’ and lively boardwalks that once attracted vacation-goers are not so common nowadays as the world becomes more globalized and more Britons can afford to vacation overseas. This has resulted in a drastic loss of revenue for many of these seaside businesses. The number of visitors who stayed overnight in Yarmouth peaked in the 1970s at over 9 million. But by the start of the 1990s this had fallen to just under 7 million and by 2003, just over 5 million, according to a report that outlines a 2013-2018 tourism strategy sponsored by the Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority. Coastal towns are economically and socially struggling in what some Britons view as an irreversible trend. My project illustrates this trend by focusing on the significant decline occurring in Great Yarmouth, one of Britain’s hardest-hit seaside towns. According to a report from a London-based think tank, the Center for Social Justice, Great Yarmouth is suffering from high unemployment, poor health, and poor education – more so than other coastal towns and all due to a slow decline in tourism revenue, limited alternate tourist attractions (other than the sea and gambling) and its relatively isolated location on the east coast away from any major industrial centers. Great Yarmouth (also known as Yarmouth) is part of a national pattern in which many seaside towns must receive millions of dollars in aid from the government just to stay financially afloat. A vicious cycle is formed as declining tourism creates poverty and poverty further deepens the decline in tourism- making it hard for small business owners to make a living. My goal was to document this struggle in a personal and compelling way.
Throughout my reporting, I found that despite economic setbacks, locals are making a strong effort to revive British coastal tourism. This is mostly through community-organized initiatives such as creative advertising campaigns and development projects. They are fighting to hold on to an industry that has defined their community for more than 60 years. Although my coverage pertains specifically to the people of Great Yarmouth, I expect the themes of adversity, adaptation, and recuperation to resonate with any audience, no matter where they are from.
This portfolio contains only some of the components of this project. To see the final product in full, you can download the iPad App by going to iTunes and searching for “Yesterday’s Town”: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yesterdays-town/id951737375?mt=8
Giles, Anna, "Yesterday’s Town: A multimedia investigation into the tourism decline gripping Britain’s East Coast" (2014). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 884.
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