BOURNEMOUTH must reinvent itself and learn valuable lessons from other South Coast resorts if it is to survive in the 21st century.

That’s the view of one of the town’s newest hoteliers following a warning that nearly a third of Bournemouth hotels are at risk of failing in the next 12 months.

The insolvency trade body R3 believes the lure of cheaper accommodation abroad, coupled with cash-strapped holidaymakers continuing to tighten their belts, will take their inevitable toll on UK ‘staycations.’

Ian Hall, who bought the 46-bedroom Kiwi Hotel on the West Cliff ten months ago and is investing more than £2million in the venture over three years, told the Daily Echo: “Hoteliers must constantly reinvest in their business.

“However that reinvestment needs to be matched by all local bodies and authorities to ensure that Bournemouth continues not only to develop but to thrive.”

He added: “Bournemouth has successfully developed to become the leading UK resort.

“However it will need to do more in the future if it is to maintain that position and survive in the 21st century.”

Mr Hall, 48, believes Bournemouth can benefit from following in the footsteps of Brighton and Hove, Southampton and Portsmouth.

He said: “Who, five years ago, would have thought that Portsmouth would have been promoting itself on the London Underground as a tourist destination?

“Bournemouth has many visitors from London but will it in the future, with other similar towns and cities fighting hard to attract investment, visitors and growth?

“Brighton is an example of a resort reinventing itself.

“Bournemouth deserves better, it has so much to offer but everyone within the community need to recognise everyone has to work hard at every aspect of the town to make it a commercial success,” he added.

“The key to the town’s success is inward investment and commercial activity, not only tourist but financial, other services and light industry.”

Mr Hall also believes that many of the town’s old buildings, including a number of hotels, should be transformed into more modern commercial developments.