Visitor spending falls by a fifth
9:00am Saturday 15th September 2012 in News
Visitor spending in Pembrokeshire has dropped by around 20 per cent in the last four years.
The tough economic climate and changing holiday trends have also led to holidaymakers staying less time on each visit to the county but taking more short breaks.
New figures show that in 2011/12, visitors spent on average £45.57 a day on non-accommodation expenses and £42.60 a day on accommodation costs.
In 2007/8, the figures were £60.06p and £53.62p respectively.
The findings emerge from new research into the Pembrokeshire tourist trade, which brings in revenues of around £540m to the county each year.
The 2012 Pembrokeshire Visitor Survey’s figures come from 1,861 interviews, 236 in-depth questionnaires and comments from a 23- strong focus group.
But there was good news with more than 90 per cent of those surveyed saying they’d recommend Pembrokeshire as a holiday destination.
Nearly 70 per cent promised to return within a year.
More than 60 per cent rated Pembrokeshire’s warmth of welcome better than elsewhere in the UK.
And key offers such as beaches, walking, eating out and attractions all exceeded visitors’ high expectations.
The last time the survey was carried out was in 2008, when the average number of nights spent in Pembrokeshire by visitors was 6.8. Today it is 6.3.
It was commissioned by the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership of Pembrokeshire County Council, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Pembrokeshire Tourism.
Councillor David Pugh, county council cabinet member for economy, tourism and communities, said: “It shows how far we have progressed, as well as the challenges we still face.
“It is clear we are not immune from the effects of recession, but the survey demonstrates yet again that Pembrokeshire is held in the highest regard as a visitor destination.”
Added Pembrokeshire Tourism’s chief executive, Maudie Hughes: “The summer weather has been something of a mixed bag, and understandably this has had an impact on visitor numbers.
“However, those businesses who are active in marketing themselves have done well, with many reporting high to full occupancy through the summer months, and continuing on into September.”