This year’s sixth annual Bournemouth Air Show represented a continuation of the unwavering success that the festival brings to our town year on year. I am grateful to the Royal Navy for putting on a fantastic display enjoyed by all, and honoured to hear that it has been named one of the best air shows in the world by American newspaper, USA Today.
Tourism officials have informed me that the four-day display saw 1.3 million visitors to Bournemouth, which has translated into a staggering £35 million boost to our local economy. Records have been smashed with more than 200,000 visitors on Thursday, 235,000 on Friday, 446,000 on Saturday and many more for the Night Air displays and concerts put on by our local radio station, Wave 105.
To see almost 1,000 boats anchored in and around the Royal Navy vessels and stalls this year reaching all the way down to Boscombe was quite a spectacle. Even though the grand finale didn’t materialise as planned due to an unfortunate fuel leakage, the Royal Navy’s eight-gun salute ended the Festival on a high and created memories for all to take home.
Bournemouth is fast becoming the biggest naval recruitment town in the UK, as Commodore Jamie Miller, CBE of the Royal Navy commented: “The best show yet with so many people seeing their Royal Navy and Royal Marines, our ships and aircraft, meeting the men and women who serve and being enthused.”
Well done to all those involved in organising a show truly reflective of the spirit of Bournemouth that will be tough to beat in 2014.