AN adventure theme park was blasted as “racist” after saying they had to close their doors due to a “Traveller invasion”.
Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea said they had been told to close early after a group of caravans reportedly set up illegally at a nearby carpark on Monday.
Posting on social media, the business wrote: “All seafront businesses, including Adventure Inside and Sealife Adventure have been advised to close early due to traveller invasion!
“Better be safe than sorry.”
The post sparked outrage – with many slamming the park and saying they should be “ashamed”.
Speaking to the Sun Online, Rhiannon Bryan, 21, said she had been horrified when she saw the post targeting her community.
The supply teacher, from Leicester, said: “If there was a post like that about any culture, everyone would see the racism in it.
“But when racism is directed towards Travellers it’s more subtle.”
She added: “Travellers, wherever they go, are keen to spend large amounts of money and businesses are happy to take their money.
“But then they are very quick to complain about them.”
The post has since been deleted, with the business issuing an apology.
Rhiannon said she had complained directly to them – particularly upset when a screenshot emerged showing another complaint on Instagram that appeared to show the business apparently laughing over the saga.
In the string of messages about the post, the business said: “It got removed because a load of people reported it.
“We were tempted to re-upload it but we’re opening as normal tomorrow hoping the Travellers don’t come back.”
The person complaining then wrote back: “You’re disgusting. I hope your business gets shut down” – met with the laughing emoji from the Adventure Island page.
The business has since apologised, saying: “After careful reflection, we as a company apologise whole heartedly for any unintentional offence caused by our recent post.
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“We understand that the vast majority of the traveller population are hard working and decent individuals.
“It’s such a shame that a small minority act unlawfully, causing disruption for both the travelling community and the community at large. Adventure Island has and always will be a place that embraces diversity.
“Again we reiterate we are very sorry for any offence caused.”