Research shows that 75% of Brits are expecting to visit a UK beach or the coast between April and September 2021. And, the South West is set to be the most visited UK region for staycations this year, a new study has revealed, with one in seven (14%) of UK holidaymakers planning to visit the South West.
The majority (60%) of those questioned stated that it is the South West’s beaches that make it such a popular destination for holidaymakers. Plus, two thirds (66%) of those in the South West said they will likely visit a UK beach this year, as options to travel abroad are limited due to the COVID pandemic.
The research, which was commissioned by Plymouth-based business Burts Snacks, has been released to mark the start of a new partnership between the snacking business and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). Over the course of two years, Burts will raise money for the charity through sales of its crisps, as well as helping it raise awareness of how to enjoy the outdoors safely, and in particular, how to stay safe at the beach.
As the region prepares for a busy summer, awareness of ‘float’ as a life-saving action should you fall into open water, has declined by 5 percentage points to 59% for the UK population since last year, particularly amongst men who are the most at risk. Only 55% of the public are confident that they would be able to float if they did fall into open water.
A lifesaving organization that will be put to the test in 2021
In 2020, RNLI lifeguards saved 110 lives, aided 25,172 people and responded to 10,687 incidents, demonstrating the vital role the charity plays in keeping beach visitors safe. RNLI lifeguards patrol over 240 beaches across the UK and around 100 in the South West and the charity encourages everyone to always visit patrolled beaches where qualified lifeguards can protect visitors and rescue them should the get into difficulty.
As part of the partnership, Burts and the RNLI will work together to educate beachgoers on the dangers of the sea by printing its key Float To Live messaging on the packaging of two of the brand’s most popular products, Sea Salt and Sea Salt & Vinegar.
Founded in Plymouth in 1997, Burts is passionate about the South West and inspiring its customers to enjoy the great outdoors, including the region’s popular beaches.
Dave McNulty, Managing Director of Burts Snacks, commented: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with the RNLI. It is an organisation which aligns closely with us as a business thanks to our geographical heritage and our love for the outdoors. We are very proud of our coastal roots, and we encourage people to appreciate everything the region has to offer with its fantastic food, rugged coastlines and amazing beaches. By supporting the RNLI we hope to play a role in supporting local communities and ensuring people enjoy the summer safely. We are very excited about the roll out of the partnership and hope that our support will enable the organisation to continue its fantastic job of saving lives at sea.”
Steve Instance, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for the South West, RNLI added: “We’re thrilled to enter into this very exciting relationship with Burts; partnerships like these are integral to helping us raise the funds and awareness that we need to help reduce risks and save lives across the UK. Burts’ research clearly shows we have a busy summer ahead of us. The South West has some of the country’s most beautiful coastal areas and we encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy the space. But it is important to remember it can be an unpredictable and dangerous environment, and however confident, anyone entering the water should take extra care and avoid unnecessary risks.”
• Fight your instinct to thrash around
• Lean back, extend your arms and legs
• If you need to, gently move them around to help you float
• Float until you can control your breathing
• Only then, call for help or swim to safety
 Source: Basis Research, RNLI Water Safety Survey, April 2021. Sample: 1,007 adults aged 16 to 64, nationally representative sample of the UK population
 Source: Burts Survey conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 2,006 nationally representative general consumers aged 16+. Fieldwork was carried out between 21st May – 24th May 2021. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.