OLYMPIC LEGACY: Weymouth and Portland hotels missed third of expected guests

Dorset Echo: HOPE FOR FUTURE: Dave Price HOPE FOR FUTURE: Dave Price

HOTELIERS and guesthouse owners failed to attract a third of staying visitors during the Games.

Figures revealed by the Weymouth and Portland visitor survey fall short of those expected by hoteliers with more than half visiting the area on a day trip.

A council report said accommodation bookings through Weymouth Tourist Information Centre were down year on year for the two-week period.

Borough council tourism spokesman Ian Bruce said: “In a usual August the hoteliers would organise their bookings for family holidays but people were not looking for that.”

David Trickett, chairman of the Rural Dorset branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “Hoteliers who are members of the FSB were fully booked and they didn’t put their prices up.

“Those that didn’t do well were the ones who decided to inflate their prices because of the Games.”

Dave Price, chairman of Weymouth and Portland Hoteliers and Guesthouse Leaseholders’ Association, said: “Our door-to-door prices stayed the same during the Games.

“After months of scaremongering about travel chaos – what did we expect but low visitor numbers?

“Hopefully, the promotion of the borough will attract new visitors.”

Massimo Menin, group manager of the Hotel Rembrandt, said: “We were fortunate to fill all our rooms with Olympic officials but had no diners.

“Our prices remained the same but due to traffic scares our food and beverage revenue went through the floor.”

However, Craig Willis, of the Wilton Guest House, increased his prices by 30 per cent and said the summer had been a success.

He added: “Bookings were strong over the Olympics and this continued after then. We know for sure some were a direct result of the area’s coverage.

“We’re delighted with the additions and improvements to the town.”

Showcased to the world

TOURISM businesses said the Olympics did not bring the visitor numbers they expected.

But many remain positive for the future now the area has been showcased to the world.

David Hicks, of Sandworld, said: “The weeks leading up to the Olympics were great but the day the Games started was like turning off a tap.

“The week following the Olympics was our busiest ever.

“Traditional tourists stayed away and were replaced by day-trippers.”

Mr Hicks added: “We expect that 2013 will be a record year.”

Craig Dunkerley, general manager of the Weymouth Sea Life Tower and Park, said: “The promotion achieved for the area was fantastic but it was not busy at all.”

Mark Poulton, Weymouth Beach Punch and Judy artist, said: “The Olympics has seen our quietest season.

“I had to reduce three daily shows down to one.

“Regulars stayed away due to accommodation and parking prices and congestion signs put them off.

“Hopefully, next year more people will come.”

Melanie Rush, of West Hill Beach Donkeys on Weymouth Beach, left, said: “I don’t think the Olympics benefited us but we will be able to tell the true impact next summer.”

Chris Bratchell, of White Horse Holiday Park, said: “Between the Olympics, the weather, the economy and the absence of Condor, traders have faced very difficult conditions which may carry forward if we take no action.”

  • LOWER than expected visitor numbers and poor takings at the tills are two of the findings revealed by the Weymouth and Portland visitor survey.

A questionnaire, commissioned by the economy group of Weymouth and Portland partnership, was answered by a sample size of 691 people along The Esplanade, near or in the Live Site, the Bayside Festival and the harbour area during the Olympics.

Only 10 per cent were drawn to the area for the first time because of the sailing events, according to the survey.

And nearly half of staying visitors said the Games played no role in their decision to visit.

  • A LACK of trade was blamed for the collapse of the Bayside Festival, which left traders thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Festival organiser Mainsail Ltd blamed ‘dire’ visitor numbers for the failure.

It closed with debts of more than £800,000.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:48pm Wed 31 Oct 12

Laadeeda says...

And the Echo photographer asked the subject of the picture;

"Look dour and please fold your arms across your chest. Our readers expect it"!

As for the article, nothing we hadn't already sussed for ourselves.
And the Echo photographer asked the subject of the picture; "Look dour and please fold your arms across your chest. Our readers expect it"! As for the article, nothing we hadn't already sussed for ourselves. Laadeeda

3:32pm Wed 31 Oct 12

niceonecyril says...

So pleased the greedy hotels and guesthouses suffered, perhaps next time there is a major event, you won't hike your prices, you reap what you sow.
So pleased the greedy hotels and guesthouses suffered, perhaps next time there is a major event, you won't hike your prices, you reap what you sow. niceonecyril

3:43pm Wed 31 Oct 12

stench says...

ha ha... ha!

this is what greed deserves!

Fair play to those that stuck to normal prices and were fully booked as a result. Wilton Guest House got lucky, but the rest of you took a gamble to put up your prices, and it backfired!
ha ha... ha! this is what greed deserves! Fair play to those that stuck to normal prices and were fully booked as a result. Wilton Guest House got lucky, but the rest of you took a gamble to put up your prices, and it backfired! stench

4:16pm Wed 31 Oct 12

goodoldecho says...

Just a personal thought, but when the chair of the local hoteliers turns up for a photo in a tracksuit top ....................
...
Just a personal thought, but when the chair of the local hoteliers turns up for a photo in a tracksuit top .................... ... goodoldecho

6:28pm Wed 31 Oct 12

marabout says...

Please, Please don't tell me that the chairman of the Weymouth and Portland Hoteliers association doesn't own a shirt and tie.


Is it any wonder ????????
Please, Please don't tell me that the chairman of the Weymouth and Portland Hoteliers association doesn't own a shirt and tie. Is it any wonder ???????? marabout

6:55pm Wed 31 Oct 12

JimmyTheWeed says...

Boo Hoo, greedy hoteliers miss out. My heart bleeds.
Boo Hoo, greedy hoteliers miss out. My heart bleeds. JimmyTheWeed

7:00pm Wed 31 Oct 12

Trisher56 says...

marabout wrote:
Please, Please don't tell me that the chairman of the Weymouth and Portland Hoteliers association doesn't own a shirt and tie.


Is it any wonder ????????
That's what you see him in every day, Not smart at all...In town, out the front of his Guesthouse, at School...
Not a good look for a Chairman....
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: Please, Please don't tell me that the chairman of the Weymouth and Portland Hoteliers association doesn't own a shirt and tie. Is it any wonder ????????[/p][/quote]That's what you see him in every day, Not smart at all...In town, out the front of his Guesthouse, at School... Not a good look for a Chairman.... Trisher56

7:21pm Wed 31 Oct 12

PHonnor says...

Weymouth is screaming out for a decent standard chain hotel, somewhere where they can guarantee the standard and know what they are getting. Speaking to visitors around town during the games, some of them where being bussed in from Bournemouth for the day as there was no where decent to stay, people, especially those who are interested in sailing dont want to stay in B&B's with no parking and shared facilities, tastes have changed since the 60's and unfortunately Weymouth has not kept up with the times, but I guess having decent hotels isnt in the interest of the hoteliers asso?
Weymouth is screaming out for a decent standard chain hotel, somewhere where they can guarantee the standard and know what they are getting. Speaking to visitors around town during the games, some of them where being bussed in from Bournemouth for the day as there was no where decent to stay, people, especially those who are interested in sailing dont want to stay in B&B's with no parking and shared facilities, tastes have changed since the 60's and unfortunately Weymouth has not kept up with the times, but I guess having decent hotels isnt in the interest of the hoteliers asso? PHonnor

8:24pm Wed 31 Oct 12

Get a grip says...

He looks as if he might punch you
He looks as if he might punch you Get a grip

9:30am Thu 1 Nov 12

Chris S B says...

Lets face it, the results of any Echo 'survey' have to be either extremely positive or completely negative in order to make an impact. Keep scaring visitors, businesses and investors away with the regular stream of negativity - as long as you sell papers that's all that matters, eh?

An outsider who's thinking of visiting Weymouth and Googles it will see so much Echo negativity that they probably wouldn't bother considering it again. Who does the Echo serve? Itself and not the local community.
Lets face it, the results of any Echo 'survey' have to be either extremely positive or completely negative in order to make an impact. Keep scaring visitors, businesses and investors away with the regular stream of negativity - as long as you sell papers that's all that matters, eh? An outsider who's thinking of visiting Weymouth and Googles it will see so much Echo negativity that they probably wouldn't bother considering it again. Who does the Echo serve? Itself and not the local community. Chris S B

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree