How did we do?

2016-01-14 06:00

UNTIL such time as our snapshot survey returns have been submitted to us by our members, we can thus far report on ad hoc input from the tourism and business community.

My initial opinion is that even within the dire economic situation, our volumes of visitor have held up. Many of our product owners have indicated that their season was better than expected. One has indicated that her establishment was fully booked from 9 December, 2015 until 9 January her longest period of being full ever.

This does not mean to say that this has been a norm throughout our destination. I am satisfied that occupancies have been appropriate for this time of year. Consumers have tended to have shorter stays and the indication is that some have avoided the congested peak public holiday weeks in preference to the quieter pre-going back to school weeks just after the new year.

With people being budget conscious there may have been a drop off in retail spend, albeit one of our newly refurbished shopping centres reports a significant increase in feet and turnover compared to last year.

So I surmise that in terms of retail there may well be pockets of pluses and minuses in terms of tourist revenue yield.

One popular eatery in Ramsgate for example reports that their feet through the door is 10% up this year, yet another retail outlet near Port Edward has noted a slight drop in counter sales.

Our beach activations have once again proved popular and with the weather being generally good and the seawater clean, I think overall we have had a good season, especially when numerous trips to our rural attractions have been noticeable as well.

We are concerned that unfortunate incidents of crime, public conduct and motor accidents continue as we as an organisation will continue to seek to offer remedies to the relevant authorities and the community to address these unacceptable realities.

So now the season is all but done and our new round of promotional and developmental activity for this year gets into full swing.

The tourism bus does not stay parked in a state of inactivity - a state of inertia will render our industry moribund.

Have a wonderful 2016 and may we all keep our sunny side up.

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