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Newquay bucks county-wide trend with rise in visitor numbers over half-term break

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 02, 2014

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VISITOR numbers in Newquay were up over the half-term break, despite tourism bosses reporting a 10 to 20 per cent drop countywide.

The electronic footfall counter in the town centre recorded 81,500 people passing between Monday and Sunday last week, an increase of more than 3 per cent year on year.

Emilie Calhaem, of the Newquay Business Improvement District (BID), which installed the counter, said she was pleased with the apparent rise in visitors.

"Tuesday was the busiest day and also the sunniest," she said.

"The machine measures footfall rather than unique visitors, but seeing the awful weather we've been having these figures are pleasing."

There had been fears that holidaymakers would be put off by the storms and national media reports that Cornwall had been "cut off" from the rest of the country by the severing of the main rail line into the county.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg appealed to people not to cancel their plans, insisting: "Cornwall and Newquay are open for business."

Newquay's tourist information centre manager Susan Deakin said footfall there was average for the time of year, and shops had been "quite busy".

However, trade was reportedly down across the county last week, at a cost to its economy of between £3 million and £6 million. Malcolm Bell, head of tourism body VisitCornwall, said: "Some businesses performed well and those were mainly accommodation with wet- weather facilities, pools, spas and play areas, like Watergate Bay and beach retreats.

"These had longer booking periods so most if not all bookings were in before the storms and media attention hit home. Businesses with short booking windows were hit hardest as the message from national media was Cornwall was cut off.

"Overall I would feel that we are between 10 and 20 per cent down, which in money terms means a loss of between £3 million and £6 million. Some businesses have lost all their business by being shut, but some others gained as people went to look at the storm-hit areas, so some cafés and pubs were slightly up."

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  • JeremyBadger  |  March 02 2014, 9:42PM

    VISITOR numbers in Newquay were up over the half-term break, I wonder why? 1. Emergency services called out to drunken swimmers in Newquay. 2. Police were called to a street brawl in Newquay this afternoon. 3. A dozen Newquay food businesses scoring just 1 out of 5 in hygiene inspections 4. Newquay has one of the highest numbers in Cornwall of children living in deprivation, in terms of housing and family income. 5. Burglary suspect rescued from sea by Newquay cops

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