We now have the Springboard footfall figures for week 42 (last week). They again show a strong recovery in visitor numbers to Dartmouth in comparison with the UK and the South West. Even though our numbers were much the same as last year, the UK was 41% down and the South West 27% down so we have bucked the trend and performed relatively better than elsewhere. However before we get carried away we need to understand what was happening in those weeks during previous years so we are including here the footfall results for years 2017 and 2018 (we lost access to the numbers during 2019).
An analysis of these figures illustrates how Dartmouth was losing visitor numbers quite rapidly over this period, something which Dartmouth Business news was concerned about at the time if you read our report on week 42 2018 here http://dartbusinessnews.org/dartmouth-footfall-week-42-2018/ and our report on the Food Festival in 2017 here: http://dartbusinessnews.org/springboard-dartmouth-footfall-report-week-42-the-food-festival/
These are the numbers for last week, week 42 2020:
Below are the figures for week 42 2018, (note, we were not getting the figures during 2019). You can see that we were drifting down compared to previous years and this was Food Festival week hence the rise in WoW figures
This is the previous week 41 of the same year 2018:
And if we go back another year to 2017 when we were also getting the footfall numbers then this is what you see. WoW is higher because of the food festival but YoY is lower showing a decline year on year
And the previous week shows a similar trend:
So in conclusion we can say that we are very encouraged by the return of visitors to Dartmouth, coupled with a reported record level of sales of homes down here. This shows that UK holiday makers have definitely rediscovered Dartmouth, and hopefully many of our local independent businesses are able to make the most of these visitors coming back. However we must temper our enthusiasm by acknowledging that these rises are in comparison to previous years when we were suffering a decline in footfall. So we cannot afford to be complacent because, when the widely reported vaccines become available next year, people might just return to their old holiday habits of travelling overseas for a hot break.
We still need a strong marketing programme for Dartmouth, and we still need to actively encourage people to visit the town and enjoy its many pleasures. So we need all businesses in the town to support the marketing efforts of our Visitor Center through their new website Visit Dartmouth as well as Discover Dartmouth which continues to promote the town.