Tunbridge Wells tourist visits decrease by almost a third

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Tourism in Tunbridge Wells suffered a setback this summer as the number of visitors seeking information fell by more than 30 per cent.

A survey by VisitKent, the official tourist website for the county, has revealed that footfall through the doors of Tunbridge Wells’ Visitor Information Centre (VIC) fell by almost a third in June, compared to 12 months before.

In total, 2,084 people consulted the town’s information centre in the Corn Exchange on The Pantiles, compared to 3,051 in June 2015.

The decline of 31.7 per cent contrasts with an overall increase of 0.8 per cent across the county.

Among the factors identified as having influenced the decrease in visitor numbers were poor weather and the possible after-effects of the Paris and Brussels attacks.

When asked if they are confident about the next 12 months, 35 per cent of firms were highly confident, 15 per cent were not so optimistic, and 16 per cent were not confident about the near future.

One of the areas to suffer most over the past year has been the staging of business events, which have decreased by 18.4 per cent.

An anomaly in the findings was that tourists attending museums and art galleries have increased by 34.6 per cent, while historic houses and castles, gardens, heritage centres and all other categories of attraction were all down.

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