'Tough trading' for restaurants and bars
TRADE in Newquay is down this summer and visitors are spending less in bars and restaurants, say business bosses.
It has been a "tough trading environment" according to Newquay Business Improvement District while the chamber of commerce reported a drop in secondary spending and a "major" fall in visiting youngsters and couples.
Some Newquay shops have even warned they will have to close their doors for a few months this winter as they cannot sustain the off-season trade.
The news comes at a time when hundreds of holiday destinations and businesses across the country are feeling the strain of the poor economic climate.
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BID manager Eve Wooldridge said while there appears to be lots of people around, spending is down and visitors have a set budget.
"I think it's important to stress that this is a challenge that every high street in the country is facing, and all seaside destinations have also faced the issues of shorter visitor trips, lower secondary spend and this summer's weather conditions," she said.
"The feedback that we are receiving this year from Newquay businesses is that it has been a tough trading environment.
"It's argued that this is a direct result of the economy, weather, Olympics and jubilee."
She said Newquay BID has engaged in several campaigns to improve footfall at the resort such as a radio campaign, a heavyweight poster campaign on the London Underground and a wide distribution of Seven magazine.
"Compared to the national average of 14 per cent, the empty unit vacancy rate in Newquay is just above 8 per cent but we are not naive enough to identify that we have a high turnover of shops, especially now, going into the shoulder season," she said.
"We have to pull together and come up with an innovative initiative that puts us out in front of other towns in the South West competing for visitors. The BID holds a retail forum bi-monthly and would urge businesses to come along to this."
BID has installed a footfall counter at Bank Street which has been counting traffic since July. It will be used to measure the impact of events in the town centre and trade levels this summer.
Tony Townsend, of the chamber of commerce and tourism, said the difficult summer may "come to reflect in the lack of investment put back into the town for future projects or jobs within sector".
He said: "Newquay appeared buzzing this summer and our figures for the hotels reflected this with similar numbers year on year for July and August.
"However, as times are tight financially it appears any secondary spend and extras were cut back, which was reflected in the bars' and restaurants' turnover.
"As for youngsters and couples they appeared to favour holidays away from Newquay this year with a major drop in numbers, especially midweek."