Dartmouth footfall - week 5 2018

Here are the Dartmouth footfall results for week 5 2018:

We are seeing a significant drop in footfall even during the low season which suggests that local shoppers are simply not coming to the lower town. This is a separate problem to the high season figures which show a decline because we can presume that means less tourists/visitors are coming to Dartmouth.

In contrast the UK overall figures for week 4 are shown below:



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  1. Before Christmas, I overheard two ladies chatting at the bus stop. One said she hadn’t been into town for six months and only had on this occasion only to go to the chemist. The other said it had been four months. They were both going shopping in Newton Abbot which, incidentally, I did last week, not having shopped in town since New Year.

      • Paul,
        Serious question. Is it possible to get the actual footfall figures instead of percentages, which are not easy to assimilate? I keep reading that it is a certain percentage down but does that mean a coachful or several thousand? And, if it could be separated into days, the visitor centre could tell if we ought to be targetting the coach companies (yes, I know that these day-trippers don’t spend much money but they will still register on the camera and some of them must open their purses ) or should we be looking to entice the weekenders?
        Also, I have not noticed anyone referring to the loss of Little Cotton caravan park as a reason for reduced visitor numbers. A taxi driver told me just before it closed that he expected his annual turnover to halve. The caravan park brought thousands of visitors every year who would more than likely visit the town centre several times to shop for gifts and mementoes to take home and to eat out or visit the pub or just to stroll around and look at our fabulous buildings or sit in the gardens. This was a significant loss to the town and needs to be taken into account because, added to the fact that residents of Townstal prefer, not unexpectedly, to shop in Lidl and Sainsbury’s, this could solve the mystery of reduced footfall on The Quay at a stroke.

        • To get the actual figures we must pay the annual Springboard fee which I thought was £6000 for the BID but you said we could get them for £3500? The BID published actual figures on their website so we would have had a reference there but the site was taken down after closure. I may have some figures in my files just for reference. Although we have lost Little Cotton, campers still have options in the area which would allow them to visit Dartmouth. This may not suit the taxi guys but still brings people into the town. The point I am trying to make is that the more we promote the joy of Dartmouth, and it is no less now than it was when we came here 19 years ago, then the more visitors will make the effort to visit the town. Thats where the DVC comes in. Excuse me but the point Edward made is very relevant. Is the Discover Dartmouth brochure meant to be a complete directory of businesses in town, as its name suggests, or is it just an advertising brochure for those who pay? At the moment it is neither of those and that is why it continues to lose subscribers. Edward suggested you offer a simple directory with all businesses included but for extra payments they also get a web entry, a link to their own website, a booking facility on your site (just like Hotels.com or Bookings.com). This is where you can use your imagination to fulfill both needs, a complete business directory and an income generator for the DVC. The number of subscribers you have now you must agree is terribly low and dropping.
          Finally I agree it is useful to solve the mystery of the significant drop in footfall, but I am more interested in what our strategy is to counteract that trend. Understanding the problem is a pre-requisite, but solving it is my priority.

      • Very simply, Newton doesn’t cater for visitors. It’s buzzing with people shopping and many of those people are from Dartmouth. I always recognise people. It has a busy vibrant market, a great variety of shops. Everything you need in a fairly small footprint including eateries. In fact, I had an excellent Thai lunch mid shop!
        In contrast, Dartmouth outlets are rather dull and expensive. The market isn’t worthy of the name. Dartmouth is great to look at but tired.

  2. That’s a shame, I know I mentioned £3,500 but I can’t remember if that was for full figures or just the ones you get. Obviously, we have more pressing projects for our limited budget. The Discover Dartmouth brochure is, as I understand it always has been, a marketing tool for businesses in town. I don’t understand your comment that it isn’t doing that job. We already have a very comprehensive business directory in the form of an attractive and popular map designed by Mark of By The Dart so there is no need for another one. And, as I have already pointed out, the task of keeping a list of businesses up-to-date would be massive and far beyond our capabilities. I agree that we don’t have as many advertisers as in the ‘good old days’ but they were pre-computer and internet so obviously those numbers have dropped. We do, however, have a website that certainly seems to do the job despite your opinion differing from ours.
    With the problem of falling footfall, I am sure that we would stand a far better chance of counteracting the trend if we know before we start why the numbers are dropping, then we can solve it.

  3. Your own analytics will tell you if the website is successful. Can you publish those please as they are also one of your selling arguments together with the brochure.
    You are wrong about the brochure. It was always sold to us as a selling tool for the town, not individual businesses, hence “Discover Dartmouth” and that is why we supported it in the past. Advertising our business was our responsibility provided you have sold the town first. I say it isnt doing its job because we never gained customers from our brochure and website investment. We could measure where our sales came from.

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