Wednesday, 19 September 2012
GREAT YEAR FOR THANET TOURISM!
As the summer season draws to a close, those involved with Thanet’s tourism industry are looking back on a particularly successful year.
For the months of July and August alone, footfall at Thanet District Council’s Visitor Information Centre in Margate showed a 25 per cent increase on last year. And figures for the beginning of January to the end of August were 49 per cent up. Similar high numbers of visitors came to the Broadstairs and Ramsgate kiosks.
This increase has also been reflected on the internet, with the number of visitors to visitthanet.co.uk registering 662,994. August figures were the highest ever at 127,381.
This year’s national events contributed to local activity and celebrations. And these were complemented by the Dickens and Pugin Bicentenaries which brought more interest in Thanet.
Targeted marketing activity in the summer saw UK and international journalists who attended the London Games come on a day trip to Margate. And the summer season also witnessed the launch of a new iphone app to promote Thanet’s beaches and bays. This was supported by the distribution of 25,000 postcards.
Other marketing included an image of Margate and Turner Contemporary being produced as part of Visit Kent’s ‘Kent Contemporary’ campaign. This image has been displayed at key London public railways stations, including Waterloo, Ashford and Ebbsfleet International and Tube stations. It has also featured as part of the national ‘Great’ campaign.
And when visitors arrive in Thanet, they can be sure of a warm welcome, with more than 60 ‘Visitor Ambassadors’ recruited and trained to provide information and service with a smile.
All areas of Thanet have been covered in the marketing promotions, ensuring that as many people as possible have access to local information. The mobile Visitor Information Centre van has been to the Quex Vintage Fair, Wings and Wheels at RAF Manston and the Dickens Festival in Broadstairs.
Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, Cllr Iris Johnston, said: “With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London 2012, many people have been celebrating a spectacular year. And this ‘feel-good factor’ has meant good news for Thanet, where we’ve seen a very impressive increase in visitor numbers.”
She added: “I’d like to congratulate all those who work in Thanet’s tourism industry for working so hard, and making visitors so welcome. Those who run our local attractions have set a wonderful example and I know that our tourism industry is developing a magnificent future.”
Karen Botha, Director, Quex Museum, House and Gardens, said: “Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex House and Gardens has enjoyed a fantastic 2012 season. A series of museum exhibitions and the launch of our garden restoration project have successfully attracted more visitors. In fact we welcomed an additional 4,500 visitors between April and the end of August this year than for the same time period last year.”
Nick Cole, Operations Director and General Manager at Hornby said: “The Hornby Visitor Centre in 2012 has continued to surpass our expectations in terms of visitors and revenue, despite the many distractions from national events during the summer. Our Airfix ‘Make and Paint’ activity has proved hugely successful attracting young and old to the centre and we are working very hard with our partners to increase the number of visits by schools.”