White Cliffs of Dover

Research and Statistics

Visitor Survey

A visitor survey for Dover, Deal and Sandwich was undertaken in 2018.  Involving face-to-face interviews with a random number of visitors, the surveys gathered information on the origin, profile and behaviour of visitors to the district.  Below is a sample of the findings for each town:

Dover

Visitor Profile

  • Of the total 901 visitors interviewed in Dover, 77% (695) were from the UK and 23% (206) were from overseas. Two thirds (65%) of UK respondents were from the South East.
  • Visitors were spread across the age groups – 22% of all visitors were children and 43% were over the age of 45 years.

Trip Characteristics

  • One third (35%) were visiting Dover for the first time, with the repeat visitor market accounting for two thirds of all visitors to Dover.
  • Over half (59%) of all visitors were ‘day visitors from home’. Almost half of all day visitors stayed in Dover all day and a further 43% stayed for half a day.

Accommodation

  • Most visitors staying in Dover stayed in hotels (34%), the homes of friends or relatives (18%) and touring caravan and camping sites (17%).
  • Hotels (26%) and self-catering accommodation (23%) were the main choices of accommodation for overnight visitors staying elsewhere.

Transport

  • The car was the most common mode of transport used by visitors to reach Dover, chosen by 66% of respondents.
  • Almost two thirds of car drivers (62%) used the town’s car parks and most (95%) found parking in the town centre ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’.

Other

  • The best things about Dover according to visitors were the top attractions (Dover Castle, White Cliffs) as well as history, heritage and the local museums. The seafront and the beach, ferries and links to France are also perceived as key assets of the town.
  • The 10% of visitors to Dover who used the VIC were asked to rate the levels of satisfaction with the service received. The VIC scores particularly well on the quality of information provided, with positive scores (good or very good) of 92%.
  • History and heritage achieved the highest score (4.5 out of 5), followed by finding your way round (4.43) and the selection of maps (4.27). The scores for shopping (2.71), general atmosphere (3.81) and feeling welcome (3.91).

Deal

Visitor Profile

  • Visitors were spread across the age groups – 17% of all visitors were children and 54% were over the age of 45 years.
  • Three in five respondents (61%) were from the South East and two in five (41%) were from Kent.

Trip Characteristics

  • One quarter (26%) were visiting Deal for the first time, with the repeat visitor market accounting for 74% of respondents. Half (50%) of all visitors were ‘day visitors from home’.
  • Of these, half stayed in Deal for half a day and a further 37% stayed for the whole day.
  • Most respondents (88%) were visiting for leisure or a holiday and 9% to see friends or relatives.

Accommodation

  • Most visitors staying in Deal stayed at the homes of friends or relatives (40%) and self-catering establishments (21%).
  • Touring caravans and camping (23%) and self-catering accommodation (22%) were the main choices for those staying elsewhere.
  • The majority of overnight visitors staying in paid accommodation rated the level of service received as ‘very good’ (61%) or ‘good’ (31%). Over half (55%) thought the accommodation used represented ‘very good’ value for money.

Transport

  • Most car drivers (87%) used the town’s car parks. Of these, three quarters (77%) found parking in the town centre car parks to be ‘very easy (40%) or ‘easy (37%).
  • The car was the most common mode of transport used by visitors to reach Deal, chosen by 82% of respondents.

Other

  • The average overall expenditure among staying visitors to Deal (per person per 24 hours) on accommodation, eating out, shopping, entertainment and travel and transport was £49.90.
  • The best things about Deal according to visitors were the sea front, the beach, the Pier and generally being by the seaside. Deal is perceived as offering a friendly and relaxing atmosphere.
  • Visitors were generally very satisfied with the quality of the most popular attractions. On average, over 90% of respondents felt that the top attractions in Deal were ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
  • The history and heritage offer achieved the highest score (4.75 out of 5), followed by the feeling of welcome (4.74) and the range of places to eat and drink (4.72).
  • In terms of overall enjoyment of visit, 51% of visitors to Deal rated their enjoyment as ‘very high’ and a further 42% rated it as ‘high’.

Sandwich

Visitor Profile

  • There was a particularly high proportion of visitors aged 45 and over, accounting for almost three quarters (71%) of the total population.
  • More than three quarters of the respondents (79%) were from the South East and over half (57%) were from Kent.

Trip Characteristics

  • Just under one quarter (22%) were visiting Sandwich for the first time, with the repeat visitor market accounting for 78% of respondents.
  • Three quarters (74%) of all visitors were ‘day visitors from home’. Of these, over half (57%) stayed in Sandwich for half a day and a further 28% stayed for the whole day.
  • On average, visitors staying overnight spent 5.7 nights away from home. Looking at visitors that stayed overnight in Sandwich itself, their average trip duration was 6 nights.

Accommodation

  • Most visitors staying in Sandwich stayed in self-catering accommodation (28%) or with friends or relatives (21%). The homes of friends or relatives (32%) and touring caravans and camping (26%) were the main choices for those staying elsewhere.
  • The majority of overnight visitors staying in paid accommodation rated the level of service received as ‘very good’ (69%) or ‘good’ (24%).

Transport

  • The car was the most common mode of transport used by visitors to reach Sandwich, chosen by 82% of respondents.
  • Most car drivers (90%) used the town’s car parks. Of these, the vast majority (93%) found parking in the town centre ‘very easy (71%) or ‘easy (22%).

Other

  • Half of all visitors (50%) were aware of the Guildhall Museum and a quarter (26%) had either visited or were planning to visit during their trip.
  • Visitors were generally very satisfied with the quality of the most popular attractions. On average, over 90% of respondents felt that the top attractions in Sandwich were ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
  • The best things about Sandwich according to visitors were the historic aspect of the town, the heritage and the medieval feel, and in particular old buildings, churches and architecture.
  • In terms of the overall enjoyment of visit, 73% of visitors to Sandwich rated their enjoyment as ‘very high’ and a further 23% rated it as ‘high’.

Download a full copy of the visitor surveys via the links below:

Cambridge Model Report – Economic Impact

In 2017, Destination Research, commissioned by Visit Kent, carried out the Cambridge Model Reports.  The reports give the economic impact of tourism to and within Dover District and relates to the estimated value and volume of tourism to the area. Below are the key headline figures for 2017: 

Dover

Headline Figures:

  • Total staying trips – 168,000
  • Spend by staying visitors - £33,980,000
  • Total day trips – 1,575,000
  • Spend by day visitors - £46,632,000
  • Number of FTE jobs – 1,743
  • Number of actual tourism related employment – 2,347

Deal

Headline Figures:

  • Total staying trips – 71,900
  • Spend by staying visitors - £16,057,000
  • Total day trips – 1,505,000
  • Spend by day visitors - £39,677,000
  • Number of FTE jobs – 1,181
  • Number of actual tourism related employment – 1,592

Sandwich

Headline Figures:

  • Total staying trips – 20,300
  • Spend by staying visitors - £4,561,000
  • Total day trips – 272,000
  • Spend by day visitors - £8,196,000
  • Number of FTE jobs – 271
  • Number of actual tourism related employment – 366

Download a full copy of the reports for each town via the links below: