Cornwall is the summer destination of choice for millions of holidaymakers, who make a huge contribution to the local economy. Really up to date figures are hard to come by, but in 2014 the region attracted approximately 4.3m staying visitors and 14.7m day visitors. This generated £2.6bn of business turnover in the local economy and supported 53,000 jobs (about one in five of the region’s total) so it’s not hard to see how important tourism is for Cornwall.
Phew, what a scorcher!
This year was busier than ever with early estimates suggesting that visitor numbers rocketed by as much as 20%. A huge number of businesses, from B&Bs and hotels to cafés and restaurants, visitor attractions and gift shops to campsites and holiday cottages, enjoyed an amazingly successful 2018 season. Much of this was undoubtedly the result of the weather; the joint hottest summer on record. The UK enjoyed a six-week spell from the end of June to the second week of August when daytime temperatures in parts of the country consistently topped 30C (86F). With a run of so many balmy weeks many holidaymakers, who might otherwise have headed off abroad in search of sun, clearly decided that a staycation made more sense.
Visit Cornwall boss, Malcolm Bell, suggested that the hit TV series “Poldark” had a part to play. He was probably right – Porthcurno Beach, near Land’s End, and Kynance Cove on the Lizard peninsula, where Ross Poldark’s bare-chested adventures take place, were both extremely busy. He also felt that social media had a part to play, with people posting pictures of themselves on sunny Cornish beaches encouraging many more to come and join them. Another factor, he felt, was the rise of the AirBnB phenomenon – a couple of years ago there were only 9,000 Airbnb properties in Cornwall but this year that figure was closer to 15,000!
Same again next year?
Of course there’s no guarantee that next summer will be equally warm and sunny but the warm glow of memories should ensure a great start to the 2019 season. The early indications are that this is the case, with bookings for next year up already.
It’s not just the prospect of another sunny summer that will be helping boost bookings. We hate to mention Brexit (sorry!) but all the current uncertainty around the outcome may lead to the pound being down, which may in turn work in Cornwall’s favour. Rather than face possible ferry and airline delays, and discover that the rest of the world has suddenly become more expensive, it’s likely that even more of us will decide to holiday at home, and where better to choose than Cornwall?
Don’t miss the boat
With all this in mind it makes sense for tourism related businesses in Cornwall to prepare for another super-busy season. Our show provides the perfect opportunity to do just that. It showcases products that cover the whole of the hospitality and catering market from tableware to furniture, catering equipment to business services, coffee to speciality food. Not only is the number and breadth of exhibitors impressive but it gives you a valuable opportunity to taste the latest innovations in food and drink, as well as testing and evaluating all the other products and services being presented. What’s more, you can’t beat meeting people face to face and building proper relationships with them. It’s the surest way to get the best terms and most helpful service.
Put the dates in the diary
Why not make sure you’re prepared for whatever 2019 has in store? Register to attend and come along to the show in March. Then you’ll be ready to make hay (or profits!) when the sun shines next year.
PS: If you’re interested in exhibiting at the show, stands are selling fast again this year, so we’d recommend you book early to avoid disappointment. Last year stands were sold out weeks before the show opened – so don’t say we didn’t warn you!