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'We like tourists – even if they often get in our way'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 29, 2012

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New research into South West tourism has revealed overwhelming support among residents for the £9 billion industry – despite complaints about the noise, litter and price rises it brings.

A doorstep study into the impact of tourism in the area showed an 89% approval rate among 1,100 Cornish residents.

However, the poll also brought to light many of the irritations which come with an influx of tourists, with 63% saying holidaymakers interfered with their enjoyment of the area and 57% complaining their standard of living had been affected.

A second Cornwall Visitor Survey into visitor profiles showed the Duchy enjoys a much greater percentage from "higher" social classes than the rest of the country.

Some 70% of people who visit Cornwall hail from the A, B and C1 social groups – the terms market researchers use to designate the middle class – compared to 55% nationally.

The reports come just days after an in-depth study into 2011 which calculated that a third of all jobs are dependent on holidaymakers in some parts of Cornwall, which earns £1.8 billion from tourism each year.

Malcolm Bell, head of Cornwall Council's tourism service, Visit Cornwall, which commissioned all three studies, said the positivity of a visitor's experience and the attitude of locals towards it were "inter-linked".

"It is heartening to see these reports produce such positive findings," he added. "The vast majority of residents recognise the importance of tourism and support it.

"This will help us to develop and manage tourism to maximise the pluses while working to minimise the negatives."

The Community Attitudes Survey 2012, drawn from doorstep interviews in 11 towns and small villages, found that 89% of residents feel tourism is good for Cornwall, with 64% saying it is of great benefit. Some 63% complained that tourism interfered with their enjoyment of the area, 61% picked out litter as a problem and 55% bemoaned higher prices.

Noise and irresponsibility of some visitors was also highlighted as a negative, particularly in hotspots for young revellers, such as Newquay.

However, the broadly positive tone was echoed by visitors, with almost nine out of ten rating their trip as very good in the Cornwall Visitor Survey 2012 Autumn Progress Report.

This identified the average visitor as being aged 35 or older with no children in the household and falling within the ABC1 socio-economic group.

Loyalty was also reinforced, with 90% of Cornwall's tourists revealing they are repeat visitors, mostly coming from Devon (11%) followed by Greater London, Somerset, and the West Midlands (5%) to stay an average of seven nights.

Joan Symons, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for tourism, culture and leisure, said improved performance compared to 2010 indicates the tourism industry has "resisted recessionary trends and undergone a growth period".

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  • Big_Ger  |  January 02 2013, 8:23AM

    I have no problem with businesses such as Halfords, who you mention, taking money out of Cornwall as they do with all of their other operations in other English counties, why should I? If the franchiser did not create the franchise, there would be no work and no profit for the franchisee, no jobs for the employees, nor the advantage of countrywide recognition for the brand/product sold. You seem to be claiming that the franchiser should set up the business, and then let the franchisee keep all the profits, that's not how franchisers work I'm afraid, there would be no point in doing it if that were the case. Do you really want to stop people buying into franchises just to satisfy your prejudices? (Halfords do not franchise by the way.) And I really do think you have overestimated the number of small businesses in Cornwall that are franchised? How many of the aforementioned B&B's, chip shops, small corner shops, service providers in Cornwall are franchised? Very few to my knowledge. How many local garages, souvenir shops, small website providers, clothes shops, second hand book shops, or tea room /cafe are franchised? But I still do not see how you can have one system for Cornwall and one system for the rest of the UK, which is what you seem to be arguing. How would this "putting money back into the community scheme", (one which you do not say how it will work), be enforced or managed? Oh and by the way, Cumbria has a totally different tourism nature to Cornwall. It does not cater to the bucket and spade holiday maker, but to the fell walker and literature seeker, you're comparing apples and oranges. Why do you believe that the current system in Cornwall will lead it to crash? Yes I am a globalist, I have travelled the world and believe in cooperation, whether locally, countywide, countrywide or internationally, whether in business, government, social activity or charity, what right thinking person isn't?

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  • Phil_lip  |  January 01 2013, 11:13PM

    Now I have that off my chest In answer to your questions Ger, None I never made the claim it was. A higher % of any businesses profits that can be utilised to employ another person or make a business grow, or both in the best case, brings real growth back to an area, and real economic value not some figure called visitor spend that really means nothing locally. For example, Cornwall had 1.8 billion spent with 4.2 million staying visitors; Cumbria on the other hand had visitors spend 2.2 billion yet only about 2.8 million of them. So it means nothing when you talk about economic value, especially if the costings are not broken down properly. Now that I have answered yours you can go back and answer mine.

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  • Phil_lip  |  January 01 2013, 11:03PM

    I have just realised, let us look at this Ger's way a minute. He has no qualms with money being taken from Cornwall, neither do I but we seem to disagree on the amount. He has no qualms if the larger company, say a franchise like McDonalds, takes money that the franchisee could put back into making his business better locally, for example employing an extra member or 2 of staff. He is saying I am the one with the problem as I see locally earned money going back into the local community, helping the local economy (shops, pubs, garages a lot of which are a type of franchise) through the employees of a company rather than being invested in other areas of the country/world as the larger company takes that value out. I think I get it now Ger, you are a globalist which is why you have problems with me being what you think of as a nationalist, if the money is taken out of an area that area will inevitably crash, just as Cornwall is now (and most other counties) the UK is, France and so on, yay for globalisation Ger, works a charm.

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  • Big_Ger  |  January 01 2013, 10:37PM

    For all your voluminous replies, and the usual insults, you totally fail to answer the questions I have put to you. In which county of England do things happen differently? Why do you pretend that this is somehow a Cornish phenomena? What would you change? Why are you fixated with money "staying in Cornwall". Again, for the third time, please answer the questions I have put to you.

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  • Phil_lip  |  January 01 2013, 9:51PM

    Yay Big Ger is twisting things again, can't teach an old dog new tricks. A good business does depend on throughput Ger but if you don't use that profit to then re-invest and make the business grow it will become stagnant. If a business owner has to rely on debt to keep growing their business as so many do then it is not a good business, any fool should know that because the bubble will (inevitably does) burst. It is more important for a local business to employ an extra person as true economic value to a county, town, village than it is for that money to be sucked out by another party. Yes fullscot in part you are right, as a small trader (even as a franchise) it should be pushed a bit more for that customer choice although any chain/franchise is still going to draw more of the profit that could go back into either a slightly higher wage or another employee, and a higher return for the owner or better he/she would invest it back into the business. It is only one example and as I said before about the real economic value any business has to the area, it is a complicated set of equations because when it trickles down you would have to break down the costs for the energy needed for each product as well and if the engineers are local or brought in from elsewhere, travel costs and much more. The reason my point is valid to the article is that yet again the paper is just quoting visitor spend as the economic value to Cornwall and it is misleading, Ger is the one taking off on a tangent and you agree that my description of a franchise fits supermarkets but not smaller retailers even if they are franchise driven. The thing about where something is made, Ambrosia make Sainsbury's, Tesco and other Rice puddings/custards but even some of Ambrosia's products are made abroad, or the milk is sent over from Europe to make them so their is a massive analysis to be made in the economic value as I have tried to show already.

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  • greyman  |  January 01 2013, 9:18PM

    If this is true I would like to hear less of the word "Emmet"

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  • Big_Ger  |  January 01 2013, 9:14PM

    I also fail to see why Philip and Carol are fixated with money "staying in Cornwall". Anyone in business woudl know, that the wages and profit which pay our way in the world, even here in Cornwall, depend on turnover and throughput, not savings.

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  • Big_Ger  |  January 01 2013, 9:13PM

    I also fail to see why Philip and Carol are fixated with money "staying in Cornwall". Anyone in business woudl know, that the wages and profit which pay our way in the world, even here in Cornwall, depend on turnover and throughput, not savings.

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  • Big_Ger  |  January 01 2013, 9:11PM

    Right at last, Phil_lip tells us that he thinks the majority of small businesses, shops, B&Bs, dog washing services, chippies, clothes shops, pasty shops etc are all part of giant conglomerates who export money out of Cornwall. Can you tell me another county of England which does things different Phil?

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  • fullscott  |  January 01 2013, 7:16PM

    Sorry Phil_lip, but you've got this wrong! If I bought my stock purely from local farmers and Cornish producers, then yes, all the money would stay in Cornwall. But my customers wanted baked beans and cheap loo-rolls. So I bought some things from the local Cash & Carry (nationally-owned chain) and some from Londis - whichever was cheaper. At the time, Londis was a co-operative - owned by the members. Now, I believe, it has gone public, but it is not a franchise in the way that you describe. The shopkeeper is free to buy from any source he wants - local or national. Perhaps there is now a fee to belong to the group, but that would mean cheaper wholesale prices - which benefits the customer. ALL the profits stay in Cornwall (ie my pocket, to be used for staff wages, rates & my family, spent in Cornwall!) Wherever the goods are sourced, the retailer has to pay the price charged. And yes, that money goes out of the county. But unless someone in Cornwall can start making baked beans and loo-rolls, I don't see how that can be avoided. It's called "Customer Choice". Now if you were talking about the supermarkets, I would agree - apart from their staff wages and business rates, ALL their profits go out of the county. Pick on them, not the hard-working local retailers! What about South West Water? And all the Power companies? What about BT and all the Mobile Phone companies? The BBC? Broadband? Unless you want to live in a self-build house with home-made furniture, septic tank and candles, I don't see how you can prevent some of your hard-earned cash leaving Cornwall. And I don't understand what your comments have to do with the newspaper article above. At least the tourists are bringing their cash FROM out-of-county INTO Cornwall!

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