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Hoteliers in Bristol believe plans for the first eye-in-the-sky visitor attraction of its kind in the UK could take the city’s tourism offering to new heights.
Arc Global believe its proposals for a scenic attraction based on Bristol’s Harbourside, could attract around 250,000 visitors to the city every year.
That’s something which is warmly welcomed by the Bristol Hoteliers Association.
The Arc Bristol attraction would see a glass cabin carry up to 42 passengers at a time on a 20-minute panoramic climb some 69 metres above the city.
Visitors will be able to enjoy stunning 360-degree views taking in many of Bristol’s best-known landmarks and attractions.
Raphael Herzog, acting chair of the Bristol Hoteliers Association, said: “We were excited to hear about these innovative proposals, which clearly have the potential to bring a welcome boost in business to hotels and hospitality providers in the city.
“Since the London Eye opened in 2000, we have seen many other cities install similar large observation wheels, so it is very exciting to see that Bristol could potentially be leading the way with something different that no other city in the UK has.
“That has to be good for business, as there is an almost insatiable demand for there to be there to be something new that people have not seen or experienced before.
“So rather than following the crowd and having something that so many other destinations already have, these proposals present Bristol with the chance to be a pioneering leader, offering an attraction that people cannot find anywhere else.
“If Arc Bristol attracts anything like the number of visitors being predicted, we will, of course, hope that those people will want to stay in the city for longer, enjoy the hospitality of our many hotels and the many other attractions Bristol has to offer.”
Arc Bristol is holding a public consultation and exhibition of its proposals on Wednesday, October 16, at We The Curious, between 2pm and 8pm. The aim is to submit a planning application to Bristol City Council later in the year.
If planning consent is granted, Arc Bristol could be in position in Millennium Square, next to the We The Curious science centre, from Spring 2022.
News about the proposed Arc Bristol attraction broke less than a month before the UK’s first-ever inland surfing lake is due to open on the outskirts of the city.
The Wave – the centrepiece of which is a purpose-built 200m lake – will deliver up to 1,000 surfing waves an hour, with those waves peaking at 1.9 metres.
Mr Herzog added: “Having two new attractions, the likes of which no other UK city has, will put Bristol well and truly on the tourist map.
“They will encourage people to travel from all over the country, Ireland and Europe, which is welcome news for Bristol’s accommodation providers.
“Last week, PwC’s Hotels Forecast for 2019-2020 predicted weaker growth in the UK hotel sector over the next 12 months.
“Major events such as big-name music concerts can provide a brief boost to business, but innovative attractions like Arc Bristol and The Wave, which cannot be found elsewhere, offer opportunities for a more sustained increase in demand for beds.”
The Bristol Hoteliers Association represents 40 major hotels in the city, with around 4,000 rooms. Hotels put £200 million into the local economy.