Until the early 19th century, the area where Bournemouth now stands was just barren heath. But as time spent by the seaside became popular among the rich and middle classes, Bournemouth was one of many resorts to be developed. With its piers, seven miles of golden sands, beach huts, and a range of water sports in nearby Poole Harbour, Bournemouth continues to be a tourist destination, but recent years have seen service industries such as finance, building societies and insurance grow in importance, and they now form a more valuable part of the local economy. It gives the place a prosperous feel, which is reflected in restaurants in Bournemouth, especially the dining room at The Green House hotel, a centrally located boutique retreat, and cool, funky Koh Thai Tapas. And fine sea views are a given from the laid-back WestBeach, just yards from the beach.