Dartmouth footfall – week 37 – 2018

Here are the Dartmouth footfall figures for week 37 2018:

I would expect to see the decline reducing over time as we are now probably 1 year on from the start of the decline. The figures should now level out at a new lower volume of visitors until we respond in some way to attract more visitors again.

We believe the Town Council needs to use its Board representation on the Dartmouth Visitor Center to revitalise the marketing program offered by the Center. Increase the income from subscribers and invest the income in more social media marketing. Their strategy so far has been to reduce costs to ensure the survival of the Visitor Center but that has resulted in the decline in visitors we have seen over the last year.

We believe it is time to change strategy to reverse this decline.

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. NOT FOR PUBLICATION

    Sorry Paul I can’t find your email address. Just to let you know that we are not to blame for any shortfall of visitors. Our footfall clickers show a very healthy visitor number to the centre. Perhaps they don’t all come into town? Also, we have not only reduced outgoings to keep the centre open although that was a priority to start with. Our business model is not for public consumption but I can assure you that we are not just sitting on our bums hoping that people will turn up.
    Gina

    • Sorry Gina but this was published automatically as I have previously approved your contributions. Your clickers are clearly not reprfesentative of visitor numbers. Please talk to your accomodation providers who are feeling the impact of the decline. Also I think it is vital that you sell your strategy to your subscribers and to the rest of the businesses in Dartmouth. The ratepayers are helping to fund the DVCso you must keep them informed about how you are spending their funds. How can businesses support the DVCwithout knowing what your strategy is.

  2. Paul. Have just seen your reply above.
    I don’t want to enter into discussions about the visitor centre’s business but I cannot understand how our figures, which come from actual people in the centre, are not representative of visitor numbers. If they come into the centre then they are clearly here.
    Anyone who wants to know what we do with grants from the council should come to council meetings and listen to the grant applications. Everything is above board, the council does not give us any money that is not bid for as by any other Dartmouth group or organisation.

    • Gina I did come to a council meeting which included an agenda item – presentation on DVC strategy, but it did not take place and when I asked the mayor he stated that it would be included in a later Council meeting. It never was so I do not bother to attend council meetings now. I am trying to help you succeed with the DVC and I cannot imagine any businesses investing in a subscription if your strategy is regarded as a secret for the ears of the Board only. This is the biggest reason your income has declined and I doubt you will fill that gap with sales of crabbing lines (sorry a bit flippant there!!!). You have a key role to play in promoting the town and thyat is what is failing at the moment. Just look at the comment of Nigel Way in my sidebar here on this website. He describes the town as dying. Please accept good advice from wherever you can get it and help turn this decline around. No one person can have all the skills needed to succeed in this competitive market so take advantage of the skills the town can offer. Please!

  3. Hello Paul and Gina, I am sure that there are ongoing efforts in promoting Dartmouth to holidaymakers, however I can only comment on personal experience reflected in the number of bookings that we have received for our holiday cottage during this year. During 2015, 2016, 2017 they were consistent running at around 20-26 weeks, however in 2018 they are down by over 35% for the season. I am notable to tell whether this is just our experience, so it would be good to see any official figures for bookings in and around Dartmouth so far this year. The weather could not have made Devon and Dartmouth look more beautiful, so lets hope the figures show we have been unlucky rather than a collapse in the visitor numbers. I would welcome any comments from other businesses and their experience.

  4. JPS Thank you for this useful input to the debate. (I am not sure who JPS is but thanks anyway) I know from my discussions with several of the Dartmouth accommodation providers, including our bigger hotels, that they too are seeing a reduction in bookings this year at varying levels. I hope too that Gina Coles takes note of your comment because I am finding it very difficult to get anyone to respond to the enormous challenge Dartmouth is facing with this loss of visitor numbers. All I can see is a lot of heads sticking in the sand. The impact this could have on our economy and therefore the future of the town is worrying. Yet our town and district Councillor’s do not see this problem as a priority, preferring to challenge the validity of the Springboard footfall numbers and spending ratepayers money on restoring the Guildhall and acquiring large estates which they cannot afford to manage.

  5. Thank you, it would seem a simple measurement to determine visitor numbers coming to Dartmouth on both a day visit or using accommodation for a longer stay. Both surely are essential to know as I am confident there would be a difference in their daily spending habits and their combined contribution to the towns GDP or fiscal lifeblood. Does the Tourist Information Centre / Council have those figures, as surely if you don’t know the size and breakdown then you don’t have a starting place to fix the decline ? Again, I would please welcome any comments from other businesses and their experience

  6. JPS
    You would expect the Tourist Information center to have these numbers but I suspect they only know the numbers coming through their doors. I have asked South hams and Devon county Council to give me access to the traffic numbers which they count with road strips, but they have not responded to my request. I have also spoken to the owners of the higher ferry who confirm single ticket sales are down by some percent but I am ploughing a lone path here with no response from those who should take responsibility for the economic welfare of our town. The businesses are also poor at pulling together for their mutual benefit and the benefit of the town.

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